We visited the very old area of Asakusa and the famous Senso-ji Temple twice. The first time we went was during the day and we spent our time walking through the souvenir shops on Nakamise-dori , looking at all the different trinkets and crafts that were available. It was hard not to buy all of it, especially the more traditional items.
You pass under the large red Kaminarimon Gate (Thunder and Lighting Gate) which houses the famous big red paper lantern. The gate which leads you to Nakamise-dori, was built in the 10th C., about 300 years after the temple was built. It has been rebuilt several times due to fires, the last one being in 1960.
After walking along the shopping street you pass under Hozomon Gate and see Senso-ji Temple. Senso-ji Temple was founded in 628 and was once the centre of a temple town. Beside the temple is the five-story pagoda Goju-no-To.
The temple hosts multiple festivals throughout the year and so we went back on New Year’s Eve for the Bell Ringing Ceremony, where they literally ring in the New Year. There are so many people and so if you want a good spot you should get there early and expect to have trouble leaving after the ceremony.
This was a beautiful place to explore, the temple is amazing to see. Even the ceilings are painted with different pictures and the architecture is so intricate. The New Year’s ceremony was a unique experience and I’m so happy we got to bring in the Year of the Monkey in a traditional way.
What are some unique celebrations you have experienced? Have you been to this temple in Japan? What did you buy from Nakamise-dori?