Asakusa is a wealth of details from the spiritual to the hyper modern. Patterns, colours and nature abound.
In a city where there are very few buildings older than 50 years because of the wartime bombing, Asakusa has a greater concentration of buildings from the 1950s and 1960s than most other areas in Tokyo do.
There are traditional ryokan (guest-houses), homes, and small-scale apartment buildings throughout the district.
I enjoy this child’s Ninja outfit complete with sword and stealth head covering.
Another rapidly developing new obsession are these delightful lanterns that come in a variety of colours and designs.
We’re getting closer to the main attraction of Asakua – the Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon.
The history of Senso-ji Temple goes back far into the past. Legend has it that fishermen brothers discovered an image of Kan’non (the goddess of mercy) in the Sumida-gawa River around the year 628 and were inspired to enshrine it
Two giant owaraji sandals hang from the Thunder Gate of the temple. These are considered kami sized sandals. They symbolize the power of the temple’s Nio protectors.
The sandals are donated by the town of Maruyama in Yamagata Prefecture. They are handcrafted in a process that involves 800 people. Each sandal weighs around 250 kilograms (550 pounds).
Below we can see the crowds are already gathering around the shrine. Beautiful ornate details abound including more gigantic lanterns and these gorgeous lacquered doors.
Below is another ornate Omikuji machine. You pay your money, shake the box and receive a numbered stick. This corresponds to a drawer where your paper fortune resides.
The temple grounds provide a respite from the throngs and give a wonderful green oasis of calm featuring the most Japanese of creature the Koi Carp.
Here’s a few fuzzy phone pics of me (just to prove I am actually there too!)
Having fun so far? We’ve got SOOOOOOOOOOO much more to show you!