"Kinryuzan” Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa


2017.10.05 (Thu)

Dragons and Senso-ji

Senso-ji Temple’s honorific name is “Kinryuzan”, which translates as Golden Dragon Mountain. The Golden Dragon Dance “Kinryu-no-mai” performed here is a reference to the history of Senso-ji Temple.

According to legend, two brothers went out on the river to fish and caught a golden statue of Kannon Bodhisattva in their net. For the manifestation of Bodhisattva Kannon a dragon with golden scales descended from the heavens. The dance celebrates this great Golden Dragon.

Golden Dragon Dance at Senso-ji Temple

On October 18, 2017, the Golden Dragon Dance is scheduled to be performed on the temple grounds at 11:30, 14:00, and 15:00.

Dragons at Senso-ji Temple

When you are walking to Senso-ji Temple from Asakusa station, you can already find some artwork depicting the Golden Dragon from the legend. For example, the dragon can be found in pictures at the Tsukuba Express Station.

Here are a few places inside the temple grounds where you can find the dragon depicted.

Kaminarimon Gate

Look up when you are in front of the gate. In the middle above the huge red lantern the name “Kinryuzan” is written in golden letters. Now take a closer look at the huge lantern when you walk through the gate. The round bottom is a carved dragon. Then turn back and look at the statues in the back of the gate that are guarding the entrance. They are Kinryu, the Golden Dragon, and Tenryu, the Heavenly Dragon. Although the statues appear human at first, you can see that they have dragon tails.

Main Hall

Walk through Nakamise-dori Street inside the temple grounds through the Hozomon Gate to the fountain near the Main Hall. You can find more dragons here. Then go up the steps to the Main Hall. Once inside make sure to look up at the painted ceiling.

Have fun finding Senso-ji Temple’s dragons when you visit.

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