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Published on 03.31.2016
The Sensoji temple is also referred to as the Asakusa Kannon Temple, although the former would be more commonly used compared to the latter. Sensoji is a Buddhist temple that is located right smack in the heart of Asakusa, and has proven itself to be one of the most colorful and popular temples in Tokyo over the years.
An ancient site like this has a pretty long history, where legend claims that in 628 AD, a pair of brothers who were on a fishing trip managed to capture a statue of Kannon. Kannon is the goddess of mercy, and her statue was apparently fished out of the Sumida River. Overcome with awe and reverence, you could say that they were the very first advocates of the modern "catch and release" mantra, deciding to make sure the Kannon statue was released into the river. Mysteriously, it always returned to them. Hence, this statue proved to be the reason that the Sensoji temple was built in close proximity as homage to the goddess of Kannon. Completed in 645, this would be the oldest temple in Tokyo.
Do take note that some renovation works is being carried out at the Sensoji temple's pagoda, which would be completed only in September 2017. You would not be able to see it since scaffolding is covering the pagoda, but other parts of the temple can be visited.
Depending on when you decide to visit, there will be different events held throughout the year at the Sensoji temple. The main event would be the Sanja Matsuri, which is the annual festival of the Asakusa Shrine that happens every May. In August, there will be the Asakusa Samba Carnival.
Getting to Sensoji temple
From Tokyo Station
Take the JR Yamanote Line to Kanda Station (2 minutes, 140 yen), before transferring to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, 170 yen).
From Shinjuku Station
Take the orange JR Chuo Line to Kanda Station (10 minutes, 170 yen), and then make a transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, 170 yen).
Main hall - 06:00 to 17:00
(October to March - 06:30 to 17:00)
Temple grounds: Always open
Closed: No closing days
Source: Happy in Japan