The Dembo-in garden is not generally open to the public and is said to be one of Tokyo's best. It is tucked behind the Chingo-do shrine and the impressive 5 levels pagoda of the Senso-ji. Its smallish, but with no people tramping through it it's spacious for a big city gardens. There one finds a beautiful pond, the home to a colony of turtles. A winding pathway takes one around the pond through a small wood and back to the main terrace area. There are actually a couple of traditional tea houses, open only for special occassions I would guess. To access this peaceful little spot one must gain permission from the Senso-ji administration office. It's free entry, but requires a good reason to enter, often it will be "sorry it's closed to the public".
Continuing our temple/shrine theme from Kyoto, we visited Tokyo famed Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. I was here many years ago and amazingly, it has not changed much.
Best time to visit the temple is before the sun sets so that you can take a look around its surroundings and go inside the temple. When it gets dark, the lights come up and the whole complex looks quite different.
This is the place to shop for little souvenirs (tiny key chains, charms for mobile phones etc.) and snacks as well as dine at one of the manu restaurants nearby.
For a 100 yen coin you can know what your future will be. After paying, you must take out a stick with a japanese sign from a bottle. Then look for the very same sign on the board in front of you to know your fortune. My sister found it very easy, but to me was very difficult, all the signs look the same!!
tired of walking? wanna see the city via a different route? taking the sumida river cruise will relax you and show you lots of things to see. from asakusa to hinode pier, the trip lasts for about 40 minutes.
Part of Tokyo's downtown center during the Edo period, Asakusa once flourished as an entertainment district. It retains some of that feeling as a haven for merchants, artists and craftspeople -- take a stroll down its narrow, crowded streets and you'll be as close as you can get to the atmosphere of old Tokyo.
It seems like a study in abstract. From the Sumida River, this gold tower with a worm-like monument in front of it will surely catch your attention. It's the Asahi Beer Tower and Asahi Super Dry Hall with its characteristic Flamme d'Or. Built in 1989, it serves as the headquarters of Asahi Breweries. Looking for a place to grab a bite? There are several restaurants there.
SENSOJI TEMPLE is Tokyo's oldest and most popular temple, with a history dating back to 628. That was when, according to popular lore, two brothers fishing in the nearby Sumida River netted the catch of their lives-a tiny golden statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy and happiness, who is empowered with the ability to release humans from all suffering. Sensoji Temple (also popularly known as Asakusa Kannon) was erected in her honor, and although the statue is housed here, it's never shown to the public. Still, through the centuries worshippers have flocked here, seeking favors of Kannon, and when Sensoji Temple burned down during a 1945 bombing raid, the present structure was rebuilt with donations by the Japanese people.
Colorful NAKAMISE DORI, a pedestrian lane leading to the shrine, is lined with traditional shops and souvenir stands, while nearby DEMBOIN GARDEN remains an insider's favorite as a peaceful oasis away from the bustling crowds
Asakusa is considered the old part of Tokyo, there are many little shops once you cross Kaminarimon, "thunder gate", until you get the temple. This is a good place to buy souvenirs or little gifts, you can find many options at a reasonable rate, specially if you've got many friends and you MUST buy something. :P
(THANKS A LOT VT BIXENTE FOR THE PIC)
The Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) is the symbol of Asakusa. It leads to the Sensoji Temple. This gate sports a huge ornate lantern and statues of Raijin (God of thunder and lightning) and Fujin (God of Wind) are displyed at the gate.
This is a great place to shop!! you can find a lot of japanese stuff to take home, since a key-ring to a kimono. The prices are ok compared with what you can find on the street. This is a shoppers' paradise!!!
Near the huge Sensoji Temple is the Asakusa Shrine. This Shinto shrine was built during the Edo Period and survived WW2. Don't forget to rinse your mouth and wash your hands in the purification through before approaching the main hall. In Japan, people visit shrines to pay respect to the kami, Shinto gods or pray for good fortune. However, the sacred objects representing the kami are hidden in the innermost shrine, and cannot be seen by visitors.
Right down the centre of Nakamise Dori, you'd see the impressive Sensoji Shrine.
There's a big courtyard flanked by small buildings on both sides that lead up to the shrine. What these buildings hold are numbered boxes -- more like pigeon hole drawers. What are these for?
Observe what the people do...
First, drop in 100 yen into the slot at the table counter under the boxes/drawers. This is the fee you pay to have your try at fortune telling.
Next, pick up the silver metallic box that's on the counter. You'd see that there's a small hole on top of it.
Shake it as vigorously or as gently as you wish and tip it over so that a bamboo stick falls out of it.
On the stick, you will see a number has been inscribed on it. It's in Japanese but don't worry -- just match it to the symbol you see labelled on the box/drawer. It shouldn't be too difficult.
Next, open the drawer and pull out a sheet with your fortune on it.
Read it -- :) if it's good, keep the paper.
If it's not good -- just fold it lengthwise and tie it to the metal stand you see that's already filled with a couple of these...
The belief is that the wind will blow your bad luck away! :)
Asakusa ,You can enjoy the traditional atmosphere of Edo era strolling through a row of small souvenir / handcraft shops to the shrine complex. A huge paper lantern at the main gate (Kaminari mon) welcomes you to the oldest temple in Tokyo, Senso-ji. There is a five storeyed pagoda(Gojuno-to), Kannon-do, Dembo-in (temple), Asakusa shrine.There are events held every year inside. Ho-zuki Ich(Ground Cherry fair)on Jul. Hagoita Ichi (Battledore fair) on Dec.
Nakamise means "inside shops", vendors were selling here since late 17th century, it's lined on both sides and multiple stalls are following each other, it's said some of them are owned my same families generation by generation. But surprisingly enough not that many religious artifacts to be found here, mostly they sell sweets, umbrellas, dolls, fans, masks..and i would say if the aim of your visit to Asakusa is Sensoji Temple it will be pretty hard not to be distracted by all these goods laying on both sides on your way to it:)
When we are in Tokyo, I always like to stay in Asakusa. It is a bit different from other Tokyo districts. It feels more spacious as streets are wider and buildings are shorter. It is at the end of two underground lines so it is not a bad base for travelling around to other districts.
In the past Asakusa was the naughty red-light area of Tokyo, famous for strip clubs and brothels. This is no longer the case. Nowadays in addition to just aimlessly wandering through the streets looking at a variety of shops which still follow traditional crafts (e.g.shoe-making, drum making, plastic-food model making), and passing an assortment of brightly lit restaurants, people come to Asakusa to see its famous temple.
Senso-ji Temple, also called Asakusa Kannon Temple, is the beating heart of Asakusa. Its origins date back a thousand years or so to an incident in which three fishermen are said to have netted a golden statue of the goddess Kannon,the goddess of mercy, and decided to build a shrine to her.
Enter the temple through its massive Thunder Gate and wander along a heaving, stall-lined lane to the main temple building. The stalls here sell all sorts of traditional clothes, snacks, souvenirs and more.
In front of the main temple building there is an enormous cauldron wafting the scent of incense into the air.
Take a peek at the tiny statue of Kannon. Then wander through the temple grounds which contain a five story pagoda and a variety of small Buddhist shrines and traditional gardens.