Senso-ji Temple

Senso-ji Temple, red, and pleasantly crowded with pigeons and sight-seers, is the oldest and most important Buddhist site in Tokyo, home to a small golden statue of the goddess Kannon which is so sacred that it cannot be viewed. Senso-ji’s main entrance is marked by an impressively large lantern that hangs suspended below the kaminari-mon gate. The temple also boasts a lovely five storied pagoda, and is a popular spot for Tokyoites and visitors alike.

On the third weekend in May, Tokyo’s largest festival, the Sanja Matsuri, starts from the Asakusa Shrine, and makes its riotous way through the streets near Senso-ji Temple. The festival attracts nearly two million visitors who come to enjoy the spectacle of huge mikoshi (portable shrines) being carried on the shoulders of dozens of men, women, and children.