Sensoji Temple in Tokyo

My Summer 2012 trip to Asia included several days in Tokyo, so it’s about time I put up some photos of that part of the trip. If you haven’t yet been to Tokyo, definitely go and see Sensoji Temple in the Asakusa district of the city. Here I am, busted left leg and all, standing in front of the famous Hozomon Gate inside the temple. I had ditched my cane by this portion of the trip.
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I’m getting slightly ahead of myself, though, so let me go back a few paces. The first gate you’ll enter is called Thunder Gate (alas, I’m an idiot and didn’t take a photo of that). Once you step through it, you are directed through a phalanx of souvenir shops known as Nakamise. If you want some kind of memorabilia to mark the occasion, you’ll surely be able to find something here.

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The souvenir shops are set up in a line leading directly to the temple’s second gate, Hozomon, but there are several “cross streets” full of souvenirs, too. The picture below is taken from one of them. That’s the new Tokyo Skytree in the distance, which debuted as the world’s tallest tower just a couple of weeks before I arrived in Tokyo.

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Once you emerge from the line of shops, you approach Hozomon Gate.

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You’ll soon come across a large incense burner. The practice is to stand close to it and waft the incense smoke around you as part of a purification ritual.

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Once you’re here, you’re in full view of the temple’s main hall and the famous five-storied pagoda. Sensoji Temple is a tourist attraction, which means there are huge crowds, but once you get off to one of the side areas, the crowds thin out and you can enjoy the scenery. The photo of the pagoda was taken from a less crowded area of the temple.
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There are a host of photo opportunities here, but I find this pic of a statue of Buddha to be particularly peaceful.

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As strange as it might seem, the temple also offers the “unique” photo opportunity you see below. I found this to be sort of random, really, but one might as well take advantage of what the fates offer.

IMG_0738You can spend a half hour or two hours here, depending on what you want to get out of the visit. But Sensoji Temple really should be on your list of things to see while in Tokyo.

Bonus photo!

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It had been nine years since my last visit to Japan, and I had forgotten some of the basic words for certain types of food. On our first night in Tokyo, this was how my sister and I asked about which type of meat we were ordering for dinner.

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