In Follow up of the Part Ichi we continue on with our walk. Asakusa is a temple town, which flourished during Edo period (1603-1868). The atmosphere of old Japan attracts many tourists throughout the year. Especially, many people visit Asakusa during New Year’s holidays and festivals, such as Sanja Matsuri in May.
This is a pedestrian mall leading to Senso-ji Temple from the Kaminari-mon. Many small shops, which sell traditional Japanese items and food, line up on both sides of the street. If you are looking for souvenirs, this is a good place to shop. For example, you can buy washi (Japanese papers), happi (traditional Japanese jacket), Japanese dolls, manekineko (beckoning cats), sensu (Japanese fan), rice crackers, t-shirts, and lots more. Stop by Kurodaya-honten near Kaminari-mon. They sell beautiful masks, tapestries, Japanese paper items, and so on.
The legend says that in the year 628, two brothers fished a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, out of the Sumida River, and even though they put the statue back into the river, it always returned to them. Consequently, Sensoji was built there for the goddess of Kannon. The temple was completed in 645, making it Tokyo’s oldest temple.
Various events are held throughout the year in the Sensoji Temple area. Some of them are:
- Sanja Matsuri – May: one of Tokyo’s three major festivals.
- Hozuki-ichi (Hozuki Market) – July: Hozuki are ground cherries, a typical summer plant in Japan.
- Asakusa Samba Carnival – August
- Tokyo Jidai Matsuri – November: a festival commemorating the history of Tokyo and the Edo culture.
- Hagoita-ichi (Hagoita Market) – December: Hagoita is the wooden paddle used in Hanetsuki, a traditional game that resembles badminton. Click here to read more about Hanetsuki and the Hagoita Market.
This is one place to visit through a stay in Tokyo, Its a place I find myself in time and time again, And im sure.. it wont be long till I return.
Oyasumi ^__^ x