In the area of Asakusa, the Senso Ji temple is an inevitable stop in the capital of Japan. Even though it is a crowded place, Senso Ji has still an important charm.
Before seeing the actual temple you are walking (or at least, trying to walk) in a small street full of little shops, souvenirs, Japanese food called Nakamise- dôri… As I said before, because it’s really touristic, products are more expensive but the price is still correct. For me, It was the first time that I discovered Japanese souvenirs and this place is the perfect place to start learning about Japan. This street is full of fans, little cats, chopsticks and also street food. Indeed, in Japan, there is a lot of street food shop especially around touristic places such as temples. Most of the time you are finding Imagayaki ( small pancakes stuffed with red bean paste), Taiyaki (fish shaped cake filled with chocolate, cheese or custard), Shioyaki (baked fish on a stick) and so many others.
Once you actually arrived in the area of the temple, the main building is really colorful and impressive. People are buying small papers to know their luck, others are buying some incense, some others are praying… You are in the middle of a ballet of people wishing things. Actually,the main building is not a place where you can spent your day because of the crowd.
However, at the left of the main temple, the 5 level pagoda and another small temple give a new breath to the area. Almost nobody is there, after crossing a small bridge of stone with carps swimming , it looks like you are at a totally different place.
Moreover, in Senso Ji temple you may encounter a lot of women (and sometimes men) dressed with typical Japanese clothes. There is a lot of them in every temple which are quite important such as this one or especially the Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto.
What is also interesting to do is coming at night to see the lights on the temple. I went there around 6:30 pm and I had a completely different perception than the time I went during the day. It seems that the overflowing energy has gone and give a way to a zen energy. The area is quasi-desert, you can appreciate the shops almost empty and seeing the Senso ji lighted which is quite a show in itself.