Japan Travel: Asakusa & Sensoji Temple

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Asakusa is one of the most famous district of Tokyo. Situated in the north-east side of the city and delimited by the Sumida river. Asakusa is a very interesting place mostly thanks to the Sensōji temple dedicated to Kannon Sama, Buddhist goddess of mercy.
Passing the Kaminarimon, the door of “thunder” with its big red paper lantern called Chōchin, there’s the famous Nakamise Dori. This is a peculiar street is full of stands where you can find many items and traditional clothes together with toys for children. For all the food lovers, here you can taste the traditional meals like Senbei (rice crackers in soy sauce), the amazing Yakisoba (buckwheat noodles) and Yakitori (grilled chicken skewers).

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If you are looking for a place where to rest, buy souvenirs and feel completely submerged in Japanese history and tradition, come to Asakusa. Here you can find a little bit of everything. The ambience is even more peculiar thanks to the porters in traditional clothes and the rickshaws.

Asakusa is also a wonderful place for kids. Around here you can find the oldest playground in Japan, Hanayashiki.

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Opened since 1853 and completely abandoned afterwards after the Second World War. Due to this, in 1949, following a couple of years of restoration and update for safety measures, the playground re-opened. Something very cute to see is the mascotte of the playground, the Panda Car and the kids can have fun driving it.

Sensō-ji Temple

The Sensō-ji is a temple dedicated to the boshisattva Kannon (Avalokitesvara). Legend says that the golden statue of Kannon found in the Sumida river by two fishermen, Hinokuma Hamanari and Hinokuma Takenari in 628. The statue was then preserved from the head of the village Hajino Nakamoto in his house in Asakusa.

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The house became a temple but the actual shrine was built in 645. Restored after the destruction of World War II, the temple is now a symbol of rebirth and peace for all Japanese. Furthermore, a tree was born inside the trunk of a previous one destroyed by the bombing and became another symbol of rebirth.

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The Sanja Matsuri, the most important Japanese festival, takes place at Sensō-ji in spring. It lasts 3/4 days and it attracts a lot of people between tourists and in loco. This festival has been transformed quite a few times. Originally it started as “funamatsuri”, a ceremony taking place on a ship. However, after changing to the use of “dashi”, ceremonial carts, it took its modern form with three “mikoshi”, altars, shown in a procession.

In the temple you can find omikuji dispensers, tickets containing a divine prophecy. Also it’s famous for its zen garden in typical Japanese style.

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Asakusa in pills:

Where: North-east Tokyo
Peculiarities: Sensō-ji Temple, Kaminarimon, Hanayashiki playground, Nakamise Dori
Food: Senbei, Yakisoba, Yakitori and other specialties of the Japanese cuisine

Photo Credits: Google Images & Japan Italy Bridge