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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kanto - Tokyo - Northern Tokyo
Sensoji Temple 
# 15   of 73 most visited
sights in Tokyo

jump to:   access  -  admission  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

Sensoji (󑐎, Sensōji, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple) is a Buddhist temple located in Asakusa. It is one of Tokyo's most colorful and popular temples.

The legend says that in the year 628, two brothers fished a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, out of the Sumida River, and even though they put the statue back into the river, it always returned to them. Consequently, Sensoji was built nearby for the goddess of Kannon. The temple was completed in 645, making it Tokyo's oldest temple.

The freshly renovated main hall in December 2010

When approaching the temple, visitors first enter through the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), the outer gate of Sensoji Temple and the symbol of Asakusa and the entire city of Tokyo.

A shopping street of over 200 meters, called Nakamise, leads from the outer gate to the temple's second gate, the Hozomon. Alongside typical Japanese souvenirs such as yukata and folding fans, various traditional local snacks from the Asakusa area are sold along the Nakamise. The shopping street has a history of several centuries.

Osenbei (rice crackers)
Folding Fans
Yukata and T-shirts
Clockwise from top left: Kibidango (skewered rice flower dumpling covered with soybean powder), Agemanju (battered and deep fried soft cake filled with red bean paste), Kibidango Shop, Ningyoyaki (cake with red bean paste filling)

Beyond the Hozomon Gate stands the temple's main hall and a five storied pagoda. Destroyed in the war, the buildings are relatively recent reconstructions. The Asakusa Shrine, built in the year 1649 by Tokugawa Iemitsu, stands only a few dozen meters to the left of the temple's main building.

Various events are held throughout the year in the Sensoji Temple area. The biggest of them is the Sanja Matsuri, the annual festival of the Asakusa Shrine, held in May. Other events are the Asakusa Samba Carnival in August and the Hagoita-ichi (Hagoita Market) at which decorated wooden paddles used in the traditional game of hanetsuki are sold.

Inside the main hall

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
Sensoji Temple is a few steps from Asakusa Station, served by the Ginza Subway Line, Asakusa Subway Line and Tobu Railways.

From Tokyo Station
Take the JR Yamanote Line to Kanda Station (2 minutes, 140 yen) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, 170 yen).

From Shinjuku Station
Take the orange JR Chuo Line to Kanda Station (10 minutes, 170 yen) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, 170 yen).

From Narita Airport
Check our airport page for details.

Orientation in Tokyo

Hours and Fees
Hours:Main hall: 6:00 to 17:00 (from 6:30 from October to March)
Temple grounds: Always open
Closed:No closing days
Admission:Free

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Hotels and Ryokan
Asakusa is the recommended district to stay for low budget travelers with its wealth of inexpensive hostels, dormitories, budget ryokan and small hotels. It is also a great location for those looking for the old fashioned feel of Tokyo. Located a few subway stops off the Yamanote Line, it is neither the most convenient nor an inconvenient base for exploring the city.
Read more in our Tokyo Hotel Guide
Search Hotels
Sponsor Hotels
Agora Place Asakusa
A stylish, casual hotel in Tokyo, newly opened in July 2012. Complimentary Wi-Fi in all guestrooms and public spaces.
Gate Hotel Kaminarimon
The only hotel chosen by Michelin in Asakusa, a town of history and tradition. Book early and save.
Recommended Hotels around Asakusa - with lowest rates by selected hotel reservation websites
Asakusa Smile
This hostel with dormitories and private rooms offers some of the cheapest beds in town.
Reserve through
Hostelworld or Booking
Asakusa View Hotel
The largest hotel in Asakusa. Overlooking Sensoji Temple.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Backpackers Hostel Ks House Tokyo
One of the most popular hostels in Tokyo.
Reserve through
Hostelworld
Hotel Kaminarimon
Located directly next to Kaminarimon Gate, the symbol of Asakusa.
Reserve through
Hostelworld, Agoda or Booking
Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki
One of the most popular hostels in Tokyo, located just a few steps from Kaminarimon Gate.
Reserve through
Hostelworld, Agoda or Booking
Sakura Hostel Asakusa
Popular hostel, just a few steps from the Sensoji temple grounds.
Reserve through
Hostelworld, Agoda or Booking

Tours and Packages
Tokyo Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Tokyo and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Sensoji Temple:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 1278 users):
87/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 764):
124.  Magome (Kiso Valley)   87/100
125.  Ocean Expo Park (Okinawa Island)   87/100
126.  Ginkakuji (Kyoto)   87/100
127.  Wakakusa Yamayaki (Nara)   87/100
128.  Ryuhyo (Drift Ice) (Abashiri)   87/100
129.  Sensoji Temple (Tokyo)   87/100
130.  Geibikei Gorge (Hiraizumi)   87/100
131.  Jionzenji Temple (Gujo-Hachiman)   87/100
132.  Nikka Whisky Distillery (Otaru)   87/100
133.  Jodogahama (Sanriku Coast)   87/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 894):
18.  Nara Park (Nara)   2572
19.  Peace Park (Hiroshima)   2565
20.  Imperial Palace (Tokyo)   2540
21.  Osaka Castle (Osaka)   2535
22.  Todaiji Temple (Nara)   2480
23.  Sensoji Temple (Tokyo)   2367
24.  Ginkakuji (Kyoto)   2302
25.  Nijo Castle (Kyoto)   2206
26.  Chinatown (Yokohama)   2158
27.  Imperial East Gardens (Tokyo)   2116

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English Links
Sensoji Temple
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Sensoji Temple
Official website.

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