Sensoji Temple has a long history dating back to 628 when it is said that two brothers pulled a statue of Kannon from the Sumida River while fishing. Despite the brother’s efforts to return the statue to the river, it kept getting snagged in their net. Eventually, the brothers realized that the statue is a goddess and belongs on the land. Sensoji was built in 645 to house Kannon, the goddess.
The main entrance to Sensoji is the Kaminarimon (literally, “Thunder Gate”), which is adorned with a large red and black chochin lantern. This lantern has become a symbol of Asakusa and the city of Tokyo. Flanking the lantern are statues of the gods of wind and thunder; one on each side.
After passing through Kaminarimon, visitors can find Nakamise-dori, a 250-meter shopping street leading to the Hozomon Gate. This street is filled with shops selling traditional souvenirs, snacks, and sweets, offering a taste of Japanese food culture.
Although Sensoji was destroyed during World War II, it was rebuilt with donations from all over Japan and has come to represent the peaceful rebirth of the capital.