Fukagawa Fudō-dō

Top choice in Asakusa & Sumida River

Belonging to the esoteric Shingon sect, at this active temple you can attend one of the city's most spectacular religious rituals. Goma (fire rituals) take place daily in an auditorium in the Hondō (Main Hall) at 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm, plus 7pm on festival days (1st, 15th and 28th of each month). Sutras are chanted, giant taiko drums are pounded and flames are raised on the main altar as an offering to the deity.

At the end of the 30-minute ceremony, people line up to have their bags and other possessions passed over the dying flames as a blessing.

While here, don't miss the trippy prayer corridor with 9500 miniature Fudōmyō (a fierce-looking representation of Buddha’s determination) crystal statues. Upstairs is also a beautifully decorated gallery (open until 4pm) depicting all 88 temples of the 1400km pilgrimage route on the island of Shikoku; it is said that offering a prayer at each alcove has the same effect as visiting each temple.