Senso-ji, Japan’s most famous monument is also among the oldest temples in the country. Built in 645 BC, the temple draws 30 million visitors annually who come here for a glimpse of ancient Japan.

Legendary fame

Legend has it that more than a millennium ago, the Hamanari brothers went fishing when they netted a golden statuette of Kannon, a goddess in the Buddhist pantheon. They brought it to their village, where the devout chieftain made a temple for the idol to reside in. That was the Senso-ji in 645 AD. Colourful illustration windows within the temple depict the legend.

The presence of the Senso-ji resulted in Asakusa gaining political prominence during the Edo period under the patronage of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Drawing the faithful

Senso-ji with its distinctive five-storey pagoda continues to command the respect of the faithful across Japan and from around the world.

Nakamise-dori, a historic street, is a great place for souvenir hunters and features several Japanese snacks like the sen-bei (rice crackers) and Asakusa’s signature snack, age-manju, a deep-fried cake sold with various fillings.