Asakusa is one of the most popular spots and a historic district located in the east part of Tokyo.
■ Sensoji temple
A symbol of Asakusa is the Sensoji temple having history of over 13 centuries.
In the early 7th century, fishermen found a small statue of kannon, the goddess of mercy in the Sumida river. The Sensoji temple was built to enshrine the kannon.
■ Kaminarimon gate
"Kaminarimon" gate of the Sensoji temple is very famous.
A huge red-paper lantern is hung in the center of the gate. It was donated by Matsushita Konosuke, the founder of Panasonic. Two fearsome guardian gods are installed at the gate to ward off evil spirits. They are the God of Thunder and the God of Wind. The gate was rebuilt after World War second.
■ Flourished in 17th century
Asakusa started blossoming in the early 17th century when Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Shogunate in Edo, now Tokyo. Asakusa developed as a center of entertainment and pleasure. Many people flocked to attractive places including Kabuki theaters.
■ Nakamise shopping arcade
The street between the gate and the main hall of the temple is called Nakamise shopping arcade.
It is the ideal place to buy traditional Japanese souvenirs, such as folding fans, inexpensive kimonos, traditional toys, Japanese paper umbrellas, figures of beckoning cats, etc.