Purification and Ema

Heading back in the Senso-ji temple grounds for one final snoot around we find more delightful details.

A Tori gate leads the way to Asakusa Shrine also known as Sanja-sama “Shrine of the Three gods”.

The shrine honours the three men who founded the Sensō-ji.

Another of my favourite new photo subjects are the multitude of wooden plaques found at temples.

Known as Ema (絵馬) Shinto worshippers write their prayers or wishes on them and leave them hanging up at the shrine. Here the kami (spirits or gods) are believed to receive them. They have various pictures – often animals or other Shinto imagery.

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Fantastical glided beasts adorn and guard Asakusa shrine from the tourist hoards.

All shrines have a purification fountain usually found the entrance and visitors follow a strict ritual.

The purification ritual is usually as shown above – take one of the ladles provided, fill it with fresh water and rinse both hands. Then transfer  water into your cupped hand, rinse your mouth and spit the water beside the fountain.

The man follows the rules to the letter!

Above are the vibrant flags at Zenizuka Jizo Hall, a part of Senso-ji Temple, often visited by those who want to pray for their business to prosper.

Next up we encounter the bizarre raccoon dog that plays an key role in Japanese culture and has an “interesting” physical attribute . .

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