Asakusa Shrine was founded in 628 C.E. when two brother, Hamanari and Takenari pulled a Buddhist statue out of the Sumida River while fishing. The local chieftain took this as a sign, began to practice Buddhism in earnest, and founded the Sensoji Temple on the spot. The Asakusa shrine complex grew from these simple beginnings, and now the site houses numerous temples. The photo to the left shows the main entrance to the Askasusa complex, through the Kaminari-mon Gate, while the photo to the right shows an interior view of that entrance. The Kaminari-mon gate leads to Nakamise street, a bustling venue with shops on both sides, forming an entryway to the Kannondo Temple. The photo to the bottom left is a shot of Nakamise Street, looking back toward the Kaminari-mon gate. Midway between the gate and the Kannondo Temple is a large urn, shown in the photo to the lower right. The urn contains ashes, and is used to burn paper wishes. The wishes are purchased at the temple, and then committed to the urn while praying fervently that the wish be granted or avoided. Part of the process involves inhaling the smoke.
The heart of the Asakusa complex is the Kannondo Temple, shown in the photo to the left. Entrance to the temple is made through the Hozo Mon Gate, which resembles the Kaminari-mon gate in structure, although a bit larger and more ornate. The gate was once referred to as the Nio Mon Gate because the statues of Nio, the Guardian diety of the Buddha, are installed on the right and left side of the gate, as well as paper lanterns dedicated by the local fisher markets in gratitude to Tokugawa Ieyasu. (photo to the right). Moving inward from the Nio Mon gate, is the Kannondo Hall or Asakusa Kannon. There is a public area and the inner Asakusa-Jingu. The photo at the lower left shows people in the outer area making wishes and pitching coins for good luck. The photo at the bottom left offers a glimpse of the inner shrine. There are in fact three shrines in the middle, main, and outer hall, and they are transported on the backs of
worshippers during the Shanja Festival. The photo at the bottom shows the Nite-mon Gate, the Shogun's entrance to the temple. This gate is on the east side of the Kannondo Hall.
Komagatado Temple: birthplace of the Sensoji temple, built on the spot where the Buddha was fished from the Sumida River
Yogodo Hall: built as memorial to Saint Jikaku, who rebuilt the Sensoji Temple
Yakushido Shrine: subordinate shrine build in Hosangen style
Awashimado Temple: commemorates those who hand-copied the sudra, and also features a tower for peace
Iizuko Jizo Hall: a hall for praying for prosperity; old coins are buried there
Chingodo Shrine: dedicated to guardian diety of Denpoin temple, the racoon dog, who guard the shrine
Bentensan: standing on a small hill, the goddess of this hall is called the Rojo Benten or old goddess because of her gray hair
Matsuchiyama Shoten: on the bank of the Sumida River
Henjoin/Daikannonji Temple: branch temples of Sensoji Temple. Henjoin Temple is in the 6th block of Asakusa, while in the Daikonnonji Temple the head of the image of Buddha of Shokannon made of Iron is installed as a principle image
360 Video Tour of Kannando Temple from Japan 360
[be sure to select the 4K or HD
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