Sensoji Temple (浅草寺) is the oldest temple and one of the most visited tourist spots in Tokyo. This is the perfect guide of Sensoji Temple introducing the symbol Kaminarimon Gate, the shopping street Nakamise Shopping Street and how to pray at the main hall.
Asakusa is also popular among foreign tourists as a place to stay since the area has many budget-friendly hotels for backpackers and has the good atmosphere of old Japan.
So if you will stay around Asakusa on the first day, it is true choice to spend your limited time wisely to eat, shop and pray at Sensoji Temple. Don’t waste even the arrival day!!
Sensoji Temple (浅草寺) is also called Asakusa Kannon. According to the official website of the temple, a renowned Buddhist priest visited Asakusa and built Kannon Hall in 645.
Asakusa used to be only a fishing village, but the district thrived because of the number of people who arrived to worship increasing. The temple was provided with generous support by the Shogun of the Kamakura period (1192–1333) and the Tokugawa Shogun (Ieyasu) of the Edo period (1603–1867.)
So, the temple flourished and was looked on as the center of the Edo (old Tokyo) Culture.
Once you get to Asakusa Station, what you should head for is Sensoji Temple. It is mostly famous for its main temple gate Kaminarimon Gate (雷門) and the red giant lantern hanging. The best place to take a picture is in front of it.
Nakamise Shopping Street
Beyond the Kaminarimon Gate, the main street Nakamise Shopping Street (仲見世商店街) stretches to the temple’s main hall. Numbers of stalls and souvenir stores stand along the street where you can buy Japanese souvenirs and portable snacks.
Sensoji Temple Main Hall
Finally, you will see the temple beyond another biggest gate at the end of the street. The gate is the best photo spot with one of the Tokyo’s symbols Tokyo Sky Tree. Don’t forget to stop to take a photo!!
It is not enough to just feel the majesty of the temple. Here is the introduction of how to worship as if you were Japanese local people.
1. Wash your hands
At first, you wash your left hand with the scoop and right hand and then, rinse your mouth. It finish washing handle of it with the same water.
2. Touch the incense smoke
The smoke is said it makes a part of your body which is wrong or injuried better, so draw it toward the part by waving your hand.
Stand in line firstly, if there is a line and wait for your turn. Now your turn comes, throw the money (it doesn’t matter how much it is) in the offertory box before you pray with your hands clasped.
That’s it, but there are more attractions if you want.
4. Read your fortune by OMIKUJI
-Insert a JPY100 coin into the table
-While praying for your wish, shake the box politely a few times. A stick marked fortune number will come out
-Make sure your number and put the stick back.
-Take out a sheet of Omikuji (おみくじ) from the drawer of your number, and take it home
This is written in both Japanese and English. When you draw good fortune, you should not be careless and arrogant. Even if bad fortune, have no fear. Try to be modest and gentle. And it is recommended to fasten the Omikuji sheet which is Bad Fortune here↓↓
5. Get an OMAMORI charm
Omamori (おまもり) is a kind of lucky charms and people believe it brings you good fortune. You can purchase it for from JPY500.