Kaminari mon’s Huge Lantern at Asakusa Sensoji Temple is the Most Popular Picture Spot in Tokyo

Japanese TV interviewer asked foreign travelers what is the most popular sightseeing spot in Tokyo. The best spot for them was the huge “Chochin”(means a lantern lamp). It is hung at Kaminari mon gate of Asakusa Sensoji temple.

Also near the temple, there are many attractive street vendors’ stalls such as Japanese traditional cakes, green tea, industrial art objects and appealing souvenir shops.

Kaminari mon was originally constructed in 942 near in Komagata area but burnt down in 1865. It had never been rebuilt for 95 years. At the Bottom of the lamp, there is a heavy brass base and at the side by it you can find three dragons made of wood.

At the brass base, one sentence is written. It says that current kaminari mon and the large lantern was rebuilt in 1965 and donated by Konosuke Matsushita, a founder of Matsushita denki known as Panasonic brand in US.

The history of Sensoji temple

According to legend, early in the morning of March 18 in 628, two fisher men named Hinokuma Hamanari and his brother Takenari was fishing in the Sumida river, Tokyo. They pulled up their net and found something. It was a statue of the Bodhisattva Kannon.

The headman of them, Haji no Nakamoto, realized that it was the important Buddhist deity Bodhisattva Kannnon. And then he enshrined it by remodeling his own house into a small temple in Asakusa. Moreover he spent his all life in devotion to it.

In 645, Shokai Shonin famous as a Buddhist priest visited the Asakusa district and built a Kannon hall.

One day It was revealed to him in a dream that the Bodhisattva Kannnon should be hidden from human view. He followed the dream and still now the tradition has remained.

Furthermore, Hozomon (means Treasure-House Gate) is also a popular spot where many people is willing to take a picture at. It was built in 942 but reconstructed several times because of a fire. The current gate was built in 1964 by a donation from Mr. Yonetaro Otani , a founder of Hotel New Otani.

Asakusa Sensoji Temple
2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo, Japan