Sunday, November 09, 2008

Tokyo Day 5: Sensoji Temple, Asakusa

I'm losing my momentum with these Tokyo postings. Will try to get through the last couple of days real quick. Love talking about food and all, but when it comes to sights and places we saw, suddenly the mind shuts down...very uncultured. I'll just post pictures and pick what I can from the net so this can get done soon.

So we went to Sensōji (浅草寺), also known as Asakusa Kannon, Tokyo's largest Buddhist temple. Up first is the Kaminarimon (雷門) or "Thunder Gate", featuring a much-photographed giant lantern.

View from main road.

View from inside the gate.

Right after the gate is the Nakamise shopping street, lots of shops selling souvenirs, food-stuff, ice-cream.

Past the arcade is the main gate Hōzōmon (宝蔵門), notable for a giant straw sandal (waraji) hung up on one side.

And you arrive at Sensoji Temple.

On your left is the the Gojūnoto (五重塔, 5-Story Pagoda), reputedly containing some of the ashes of the Buddha.

Right in front of the Kannondō (観音堂, Kannon Hall), you see lots of worshippers trying to waft smoke from the incense burner onto their body as an act of purification.

Youtube video of worshippers doing just that.

Turn left at the temple and we come across more streets with different shops.

Here are some kimono-clad women browsing at these shops.

Interesting food-stalls; patrons sit on low tables and chow down...was really tempted to try the food here, but we knew we were going for more tempura soon.

Performance by a comedian I think; old folks were standing around laughing. The 5-Storeyed Pagoda nearby was built in honour of comedians.

Yet another futile attempt by Eddie and Brian to win something at a game-stall.

Boys posing with sake barrels.

Left Sensoji Temple and headed for our Round 2 lunch, on our way out, saw these dogs. I actually thought this was a new breed of dog; but the furry bit is just their "hairpiece". Why do owners do this to their dogs?


Lisa said...

It is amazing how much you saw of Tokyo and how many temples/shrines you visited during your 1 week there.
Our 4 yrs stay in Tokyo, I only made it to 1 Shrine and thats it!

If you think the human traffic in Shibuya was bad, you should have tried their tubes during busy hours.
You really get shoved in and packed like sardines.

I am glad you got to eat all your favourite food. I am very envious. My turn next... going to Tokyo on Dec2 for a few days after LA.

Lilian said...

Not many lah, just the Meiji one and this Sensoji temple. Most of our focus was on FOOD!'re so lucky, lived so many years there! Bet you know even better places for eating. Eddie wondered if you knew of Piss Alley's Yakitori, but I said "As if Lisa would go to these kind of places!!"

Yes, I was talking to this lady who's lived in Tokyo for 7 years, and I was relating how polite people were, queueing up in lines when the train door opened. She said it's an entirely different story when it's peak hours. And that there are actually train employees hired just to push commuters into the train, pack 'em in! She said it's so bad, body to body, that you can hardly breathe. She also talked about train delays due to suicides; some 30,000 people jump in front of trains every year, well, that's what she said.

Have a great time in Tokyo and LA. Now my turn to be envious!