Many tourists, both Japanese and from abroad, visit the Sensō-ji every year. It’s one of those landmarks or spots that you need to check off your list to be able to say that you’ve been to Japan. Catering to thousands of people, the surrounding area has tons of traditional shops and food stalls that showcase many Japanese traditional dishes.
Airlite Int’l Travels and Tours gave us an hour to explore the Asakusa. It’s your option if you want to stay with the tour guide or go on your own. Camie and I decided to leave the group and visit the Sensō-ji Temple and explore Nakamise-Dori. Since the last week of March and early April were apparently the best time to visit Japan, almost all the places we went to were flocked with tourists. Nevertheless, it did not stop us from getting inspired and learning about the Japanese culture.
SENSŌ-JI TEMPLE (浅草寺)
The Sensō-ji Temple is the oldest temple in Tokyo. Around 30 million visitors from throughout Japan and abroad visit this temple every year. Many seasonal events are held including the Hozuki (Chinese lantern plant) Market and Hagoita (wooden paddle) Market. The huge lanterns hung at Kaminari (Thunder) Gate are very famous throughout Japan. The entrance to the shrine is through the “Kaminarimon gate”. This gate along with the inner “Hozomon gate” and their large lanterns, are favourite spots among tourists for getting photographed, making Sensō-ji the symbol of Tokyo.
O-mikuji are random fortunes written on strips of paper at shrines and temples in Japan. These are usually received by making a small offering (5-yen is enough) and randomly choosing one from a box, hoping for getting a “good fortune.” The o-mikuji is scrolled up or folded, and unrolling the piece of paper reveals the fortune written on it. It includes a general blessing which can be either a great blessing, a small blessing, a small curse, an ending curse or a great curse. Kinda creepy! Haha!