Legend says in the year 628 two brothers fished a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, from the Sumida River. And although they tried to return the statue back to the river the statue always returned to them. So they built a temple, Sensoji, for the goddess of Kannon. Completed in 645 it is Tokyo’s oldest temple.

Nakamise Dori, a street lined with hundreds of shops selling crafts, souvenirs and snacks, leads the visitor from the outer gate to the temple’s second gate, the Hozomon. The shopping street has a centuries old history all its own. 

Destroyed in the war , the buildings are relatively recent reconstructions.

“In the city fields
Contemplating cherry-trees…
Strangers are like friends”
― Issa