If Senso-ji is one of the oldest temples in Japan, the nearby street, Nakamise-dori, is one of the oldest shopping centers, established around 1700. Since then, the temple and the shopping stalls were rebuilt countless times and, during the last repairs, the street and the shops were redesigned to look like the temple’s buildings, with vermillion pillars.
In this photo you can see the the north end of Nakamise-dori, towards the temple’s Hozomon gate, late in the night, after all the shops are closed and the street, always crowded during the day, is now empty.
The beautiful lighting that can be admired here, was designed in 2003, on the 400th anniversary of the Edo Shogunate. Named “Shining Asakusa for the 21st Century", the illuminations were designed by Motoko Ishii, one of the top Japanese lighting designers.
The lights were carefully planned to conserve energy - that’s why we can still enjoy the illuminations, with all the energy crisis…
A small travel tip: If you wish to enjoy the beauty of Senso-ji, but you want to avoid the crowd, come to the temple around 9:30~10PM. By then, the traffic is slowing down and you will enjoy a quiet, relaxing and magical atmosphere created by the temple’s spectacular lighting.
However, take into account that the lights will go off at 11PM.
Hozomon Gate, Senso-ji Temple, Asakusa, Tokyo
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: Popular Japanese food, Yakitori