Japan: Tokyo (Asakusa Shrine and Nakemise) | Simply Me / Karen Jardeleza

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Japan: Tokyo (Asakusa Shrine and Nakemise)

Kaminarimon (Kaminari Gate)

Tokyo is Japan's capital, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family.

Kaminarimon is the first of two large entrance gates leading to Sensoji Temple. First built more than 1000 years ago, it is the symbol of Asakusa. The Nakamise shopping street leads from Kaminarimon to the temple grounds.

Asakusa Shrine was founded in 628 when two brother, Hamanari and Takenari fished a Buddhist statue out of the Sumida River while fishing. The local chieftain took this as a sign, began to practice Buddhism in earnest, and founded the Sensoji Temple on the spot. The Asakusa shrine complex grew from these simple beginnings, and now the site houses numerous temples.

Asakusa is the center of Tokyo's shitamachi, lit. "low city", one of Tokyo's few districts, which have preserved a certain atmosphere of the old Tokyo.

Asakusa's main attraction is Sensoji, a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. The temple is approached via the Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries.
Nakamise street, a bustling venue with shops on both sides,
forming an entryway to the Kannondo Temple.
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), Ningyoyaki (small cake with red bean paste), Folding Fan

Dempo-in (priest's residence) and Goju-no-To, the Five Story Pagoda, another center of worship. The pagoda contains the ashes and memorial tablet of the Buddha, while the Denpoin Temple refers to the main temple of the Sensoji Temple, and was a study and library for priests.

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. Built in the 7th century, it is also one of its oldest, although the current buildings are postwar reconstructions.

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.

Asakusa can be easily explored on foot.

Asakusa Street Tokyo

Buffet Lunch along Tokyo
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Next: Japan: Dai Ichi Hotel

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