Translated by Shinji Takaramura
Sensoji Temple - A Complete Guide
Sensoji, a temple with more than 1,300 years of history, located in Tokyo's Asakusa area is also very well-known for its gorgeous gate called Kaminarimon. This article contains everything you need to know about the temple.
Written by Mayu
Sensoji is a temple with more than 1300 years of history. It is also famous for the red chochin (lantern) hanging at the entrance gate called Kaminarimon.
Nakamise Dori, the oldest shopping street in Japan, is located beyond the Kaminarimon and is always bustling with visitors to the temple. The street stretches for 250 meters and consists of 180 shops, mostly handling souvenirs and Japanese confectioneries. Snacks such as the Asakusa specialty imo yokan (sweet potato jelly) and ningyo yaki (doll cakes), along with Japanese accessories, can be found here, so this is also an ideal place to look for souvenirs.
Walk along the Nakamise Dori, and Sensoji comes into view. Visitors are engulfed in the smoke from the jokoro, which is set in front of the temple.
The Kannon Boddhisattva is enshrined at the main hall. The Kannon is a merciful Buddhist deity who is believed to take away the people's suffering and make their wishes come true. Some visitors buy the charms sold at the temple. This article is about the various appeals of Sensoji, which attracts visitors not only from Japan, but from abroad as well.
For more information about the temple, please read Asakusa Area Guide: Sightseeing, Dining, Shopping, Festivals and More!, Asakusa Sensōji Temple: An Introduction To Japanese Buddhism, The Mysterious Smoke at Sensoji and How to Properly Visit A Temple.
Access to Asakusa and Sensoji
The nearest station to Sensoji is Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Line, Tobu Skytree Line and Tsukuba Express.
From Tokyo/Ueno to Asakusa Station
To reach Asakusa from Tokyo Station, head for Ueno Station on the Yamanote Line, and switch to the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line at Ueno. Asakusa is the third stop from Ueno, after Inaricho and Tawaramachi. The ride from Ueno takes about five minutes. For a detailed route, please read Going from Ueno to Asakusa by Train.
From Haneda Airport
Get on the Keikyu Line from the international terminal. The Airport Limited Express bound for Narita Airport will take you directly to the Asakusa Station. The fare is 620 yen, and the ride takes about 40 minutes.
From Narita Airport
Get on the Keisei Line from terminal 2, which will take you directly to Asakusa Station. If you board the Access Express of the Keisei Narita Sky Access Line, bound for Keikyu-Kurihama, the ride will take about an hour, and the fare is 1290 yen.
For information about routes to Asakusa from Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ginza, take a look at How To Reach Asakusa From Major Stations In Tokyo.
From Asakusa Station to Sensoji
Head for the A4 Exit of the Toei Asakusa Line, or Exit 1, 2 and 3 of the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line. It is a 5-minute walk to Sensoji.
From Tokyo Skytree to Sensoji
From Oshiage Station on the Toei Asakusa Line, it is a 3-minute ride to Asakusa Station, and the fare is 180 yen. From the Tokyo Skytree Station Iriguchi bus stop, get on the Toei Bus ("To-08," bound for Nippori-ekimae), and get off at the Tobu-Asakusa Station bus stop. The ride takes fifteen minutes, and the fare is 210 yen.
Walking to Sensoji from Tokyo Skytree will take twenty to thirty minutes.