Sensoji in Asakusa is Tokyo’s oldest temple where the image of the temple’s gold Goddess of Mercy (Kannon) is enshrined. The official temple name for Sensoji Temple is Kinryuzan (Mountain of Golden Dragon) and this name comes from a tale about a golden dragon. According to the legend, 1000 pine trees suddenly appeared overnight near the temple on the 18th day of March. After three days, a golden dragon measuring approx. 30 meters descended into the pine trees from the heavens and was never seen again. The Golden Dragon Dance is based on this story. It was first presented in October 1958 to celebrate the opening of Showa Hall of the temple by the Asakusa Kannon Association as a commemorative event to be passed on to future generations. The dance is held on March 18 when the temple’s sacred image is unveiled for public viewing. The main temple of Sensoji is under repair currently and this dance was performed in the courtyard.
The dance was accompanied by muscial performances by local geisha.
Following the dance, people try to touch the dragon for luck.
Asakusa is a charming, rustic neighborhood with many points and festivals of interest for the tourist throughout the year. Next month I hope to be able to photograph (one of my favorite subjects) Yabusame (Japanese Horseback archery) in the area.