I am not much of a sightseeing person, and I usually do my best to avoid larger tourists crowds. I prefer wandering around by myself or with a friend and soak up the city atmosphere instead of rushing around chasing Kodak moments. However, sometimes I make an exception and once in a while I am pleasantly surprised.
The Senso-ji temple is one of the greatest tourist attractions in Tokyo, and I happened to stumble across it by chance, as me and Anna-Carin were trying to find Asakusa station after a cruise on the Sumida River.
This huge temple was kind of hard to miss, so we decided to give it a chance. I’m glad we did, since this is a really nice place, which I have returned to several times since then. Although the temple area can get quite crowded, some sort of peaceful serenity rests over the place making Senso-ji a fantastic oasis in the middle of Tokyo’s hustle and bustle.
Senso-ji is Tokyo’s largest temple and part of it was built back in 645. You enter the area through an impressive gate construction and then walk up the road, Nakamise-Dori, which leads to the temple itself. Nakamise-Dori is lined with small shops where you can buy souvenirs and incense sticks. In the narrow streets outside the temple grounds you can also buy handicrafts, ceramics and Japanese chefs’ knives.
Inside the area you’ll find the most beautiful Japanese gardens with ponds in which carps are swimming around. Although there are many tourists, there is also a large number of Japanese people who actually go there to pray and Senso-ji provides a fascinating example of how history and tradition still plays a big part in the otherwise ultra high-tech Japanese society.