Tokyo may not have as many temples as Kyoto (soon to discover). Legend tells of two brothers who, in the year 628, fished a statue of goddess of mercy, Kannon, out of the Sumida River, and even though they put the statue back into the river, it always returned to them. Consequently, Senso-ji was built nearby for the goddess of Kannon, although the Buddhist statue has never been on public display.

The Temple is accessible through the grand Kaminari-mon (Thunder Gate), an impressive structure if ever there was. Suspended above the entrance is a massive red lantern that visitors walk under to enter the building. Impressive.

There are a number of Geisha’s (and mini Geisha’s) wandering around looking for photo opportunities with visitors. Costumes can be hired on the entrance if you feel so inclined.

Beyond the gates and pagoda buildings, a chock-a-block shopping street, Nakamise-dōri, bustles with stalls selling trinkets and treats, from Edo-style handicrafts to pancake-like sweets filled with red bean paste.

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