Senso-ji, located in the Asakusa neighborhood, is Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple and one of its most significant. A great thing about it is that it’s open at night and well-lit, making for a unique experience.
The first temple was founded in 645 AD. It is dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon. The legend has it that a statue of Kannon was found in the nearby Sumida River by two fisherman brothers in 628. The chief of their village recognized the sanctity of the icon and enshrined it by remodeling his own house into a temple in the village of Asakusa so that the villagers could worship it. During the early years of the shogunate in Edo, the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu designated Senso-ji as the temple of the Tokugawa clan.
The temple was bombed and destroyed during WWII. This rebuilt version is a symbol to the Japanese people of rebirth and peace.
The entrance to Senso-ji is dominated by the Kaminarimon, or Thunder Gate. One of the features is gigantic paper lantern painted in red and black, symbolizing thunderclouds and lightning.