Travel Guides

Sherpani Travel: This Ancient Buddhist Temple is a Tokyo Must

From iconic landmarks to diverse neighborhoods, this Japanese capital city is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences. That’s right, we’re talking about Tokyo. The food, the heritage, and the city's unique blend of modern innovation and traditional culture come together to create one of the world’s most famous metropolis, and one of our all-time, favorite destinations.


An urban marvel, Tokyo is a city that instantly lights up your senses. Whether you’re standing in the middle of Shibuya Crosswalk with 3,000 other strangers or window shopping the upscale storefronts of Ginza, there’s no shortage of wonders. The narrow “yokocho” alleyways, anime-obsessed shops, and gyoza-scent-filled streets all contribute to the wonderment that is Tokyo. But if you ask us, it’s the people that make the city so special. The “Tokyoites” are warm, funny, and a joy to travel alongside—wherever you are in the city, their warm welcomes will be palpable.

Lanterns hanging above an alleyway in Tokyo

Tokyo is the ideal place for the travel-obsessed woman. It’s a city truly unlike any other—a place that caters to the diverse interests of just about any traveler. Are you a total techy, eager to explore the advancements that define Tokyo? Or perhaps you're a history buff at heart, hoping to immerse yourself in over 4000 temples scattered throughout the city. If shopping is your vice, Tokyo will be your ultimate paradise, with options ranging from high-end luxury brands in Ginza to the quirky and trendy fashion scene in Harajuku. And if you're a dedicated foodie like us, get ready to embark on a quest for the best ramen spot in town. Tokyo truly has it all—whatever your soul is searching for, you'll find it here.


Pro Tip: If you find yourself in the Shibuya District, (and we highly suggest finding yourself in the Shibuya District) head over to our favorite snack spot—Ichiran, Shibuya. Just thinking about their spicy Gyoza makes our taste buds start to tingle.

Gyoza appetizer from Ichiran, Shibuya restaurant

Safety & Transportation

Renowned as the world's safest city, Tokyo is one of our top travel destinations for solo female travelers looking to explore with *ultimate peace of mind. But the city's low crime doesn’t just come from its friendly residents, it also lies in a cultural mindset known as "kokumensei" or "national character." The Japanese people are known to value social harmony and hierarchical respect—standards that are deeply ingrained into their society. Kokumensei serves, to them, as a constant reminder to uphold these values, creating the safe environment that Tokyo is so well known for. So, when you visit, you can rest assured that your safety is in good hands, and allow yourself to become fully immersed in all this vibrant city has to offer.

When it comes to getting around, trust us when we say it couldn't be any easier. Tokyo is home to one of the world’s most efficient public transit systems, encompassing trains, and subways that connect to every corner of the city. But if you're anything like us, you may prefer to experience a new city on foot—and Tokyo boasts some of the world's cleanest and best-maintained sidewalks. So, lace up your sneakers and get ready to discover a new curiosity hiding behind every corner.

Busy city street with lights and billboards in Tokyo


If we took a lifetime to write about all the marvels this city has to offer, it still wouldn’t be enough. That’s why, despite our wishes, we’ve decided to focus on just one. In the heart of Tokyo’s Asakusa district lies one of Japan's oldest and most significant Buddhist temples.

The Sherpani Unmissable recommendation for visiting Tokyo: Senso-Ji Temple!

The legend says that two brothers built Senso-Ji temple for Kannon, the goddess of mercy, in the year 645—making it Tokyo’s oldest temple. But it wasn’t just the legends and stories that caught our attention at this breathtaking place. It was the overwhelming sense of love, life, and color that lives there.

Senso-ji Temple, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple, is one of Tokyo's most iconic temples (which is pretty impressive when you’re competing with 4,000 others). Located in the lively Asakusa district, this sacred space holds strong cultural and religious significance, captivating the hearts of locals, tourists, and of course, us too.

Asakusa Temple is, in a way, its own alluring world within the city. As you approach the temple, you immediately sense the pulsing energy that flows through Senso-Ji. The grounds are steeped in tradition, lined with over 90 shops, decorated with Buddhist statues, gardens, koi ponds, timeless prayer rituals, ancient art, and much more. The best part is, while you’re there, you’re not just an onlooker. You have the chance to participate in and experience some of Japan's most cherished rituals. We suggest bathing yourself in the cloud of incense that flows from the great incense burner in the main hall—it’s customary to wave the incense smoke toward you to purify yourself.

Pro Tip: Purify yourself with the incense ritual before heading over to discover your fate with the Omikuji fortune… this way you may have better luck as not all Omikuji fortunes are cheery. In fact, some can be pretty gloomy!

Emma standing in front of the incense burner in Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo

The Omikuji fortune is another timeless ritual performed at the Temple. To receive yours, you’ll shake a tin box that’s filled with number sticks; whichever falls into your hands is the fortune number you’re meant to draw. Though some fortunes are promising, it’s possible to draw one that predicts a life of doom. So shake and hope for the best!

Despite all the wonders that exist at this famous landmark, we find that the beauty of Senso-Ji Temple is in its ability to mimic the diversity we love so much about Tokyo. There’s a paradox that exists between modern-day advancements and ancient traditions that’s honestly, so exciting to witness. Here, you can grab a cup of Starbucks coffee from an AI machine before turning the corner to see thousands of years of religious significance at Senso-Ji.

Details of Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo

As we said, we could go on forever about this place. Visiting Tokyo is truly an experience unlike any other. We know, we say that a lot, but we can't help how beautiful the world is. In this case, the blend of rich history, mouth-watering cuisine, diverse neighborhoods, and modern-day technology has left us in awe. And we can’t wait for it to do the same for you.

Ready to go?

We can't wait to share this awe-inspiring journey with you, as we know it will leave an impression on your heart the same way it did ours. So, we’d love to hear from you—what was your favorite ‘unmissable’ spot in Tokyo?!

Emma R

Freelance Writer


The above post is part of an ongoing segment of the Sherpani Travel Blog. We want to give travelers a singular, tangible recommendation for destinations; something we deem truly unmissable. These recommendations are carefully chosen from the personal travels of the Sherpani team.

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