Japan -03/31/- 04/08/2017

Day 2- Sensōji Temple -4/2/2017

Sensōji, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple, founded in the 7th century, allowing it to claim the tile of the oldest Buddhist temple in Asakusa, Tokyo, though most of its main buildings are newly erected with concrete after they were burn down in WWII.  

According to legend, the brothers Hinokuma Hamanari and Takenari caught in their nets a small golden statue of the Buddhist deity Kannon.  They tried to get rid of it but it kept coming up so they decided to keep it. When they returned to the village, they showed it to one of the chief who is a devout Buddhist understood what it was, and built a temple to house it and the temple was of course Sensoji!

The outer gate of the temple.

Kaminarimon Gate is the first gate to Sensoji.  On the front side, the statue of Fujin (god of wind) stands on the righ and the statue of Raijin (god of thunder) on the left.

 

 

In order to get to the temple you have to walk through a long and narrow alley filled with shops, called Nakamise which will lead the temple's second gate, the Hozomon.

You will find typical Japanese souvenirs such as yukata and folding fans, various traditional local snacks from the Asakusa area are sold along the Nakamise.

 

We went there around 8:00am and there are a lot of people already.


The length of the street is approximately 250 meters and contains around 89 shops.


We heading towards the 2nd gate.



Along the way a bunch of cherry blossoms.

Demboin Temple is the resident of Sensoji Temple head priest. Itís famous for beautiful garden however itís closed for visitors.

 

More cherry blossoms... Really pretty.

Here is the second gate called  Hozomon. 


The Hozomon gate houses a pair of Nio figures on both side.  Nio are guardian deities whose statues are often erected in the entrance of a temple.


Close look at the gigantic hanging red lantern.


Hoa at the 2nd entrance

In the back ground you can see the 3rd and final gate.


Hondo the main hall still housing the statue of Kannon the fishermen found 1400 years ago however, the statue was allegedly so radiant that they buried it in the ground inside Sensoji Temple and no one has actually seen it since.
The shops at both sides of the last stretch sell the official Sensoji merchandise: omamori amulets, scrolls, incense to burn at the huge burner in front of the templeís stairs.

Installed in front of main entrance is an important piece of equipment, the jōkōro which is a container where visitors can insert incense as an offering.

By placing a lit stick of incense in this large brazier and immersing yourself in the smoke, it is believed in Japan that, not only will you bring good luck to yourself, but you will also purify and cure any ills that you may have.

Hey if it is working for the Japanese it should work for me too...



Next to the Altar the Kannon statue is kept in the green container.

Inside the temple.

Huge altar behind a floor to ceiling glass door.

 

People praying in front of the altar.

 

Artworks are painted directly on the ceiling.

 

We are now outside in the garden

The garden itself is surprisingly big. You can walk around it following a narrow path with stepping stones.

We were there when cherry blossoms and many other cute spring flowers are just blossoming.

A seated Buddha bronze statue in the garden.

 

 

 

In the middle of the garden is a pond with koi carp.

Beautiful cherry blossoms!

 

One of many small shrine on the premise.


Here is another shrine.  All of them have a small wooden box where people can insert in monetary donation.

 

A tomb with Japanese calligraphy


More shrines...

Another Buddha statue...

Next..Ueno Park

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