Sensō-ji is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa. It is Tokyo’s oldest temple, and one of its most significant. Formerly associated with the Tendai sect, it became independent after World War II.
The temple is dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon, also known as Guan Yin or the Goddess of Mercy. According to legend, a statue of the Kannon was found in the Sumida River in 628 by two fishermen, the brothers Hinokuma Hamanari and Hinokuma Takenari. The chief of their village, Hajino Nakamoto, recognized the sanctity of the statue and enshrined it by remodeling his own house into a small temple in Asakusa, so that the villagers could worship the Kannon.
The first temple was built on the site in 645, which makes it the oldest temple in Tokyo. In the early years of the Tokugawa shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu designated Sensō-ji as tutelary temple of the Tokugawa clan.
During World War II, the temple was bombed and for the most part destroyed. It was rebuilt later and is a symbol of rebirth and peace to the Japanese people. In the courtyard there is a tree that was hit by a bomb in the air raids, it had regrown in the husk of the old tree and is a similar symbol to the temple itself.
By train: Asakusa is the terminus of the Metro Ginza line (G19), which is the best way to get into the area, perhaps by connecting from the Yamanote line at Ueno. Other options are to take the eponymous Toei Asakusa line(A18), which carves a path through eastern and southern Tokyo, or by taking the Toei Oedo Line to the Kuramae Station(E11), or by using the Tobu-Isesaki Line.