The religious coronary heart of Asakusa, and for that matter Tokyo, is the spectacular Sensoji Buddhist Temple. Constructed someday within the seventh century earlier than Tokyo was even Edo, to accommodate the golden statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, which, based on legend was fished out of the close by Simudagawa, by two native fisherman brothers. Regardless of their efforts to return Kannon to the river the place she was discovered, the statue stored discovering its method again to them. Subsequently a temple was constructed to accommodate the goddess. Sensoji is Tokyo's solely agreed vacationer attraction, and is visited every day by a whole lot of vacationers and worshippers from Japan and everywhere in the world.
Arriving from Asakusa subway station, Sensoji is entered via Kiminarimon ("Thunder Gate"). An imposing construction that homes two protecting deities: Fuijin, the god of wind, on the proper, and Raijin, the god of thunder, on the left. These ferocious gods oversee all who enter the temple and preserve the grounds protected.
As soon as contained in the gate, you’ll come to Nakamise-dori. This purchasing road, set throughout the precise temple precinct, has it's personal historical past. These stalls and their proprietors are a dwelling a part of a centuries previous custom of promoting wares to the pilgrims visiting the temple.
Within the late 17th century, neighbors of the Sensoji who obtained and served guests to the temple, have been rewarded by being given a particular proper to open retailers to promote their wares alongside the method to the temple.
This continued till 1885, when the Tokyo metropolitan authorities, having taken management of the land belonging to Sensoji, ordered all Nakamise retailers to depart and in the identical yr constructed western type brick retailers, resulting in the start of recent Nakamese.
At present yow will discover every thing from vacationer trinkets, comparable to folding followers, to conventional Japanese clothes together with kimonos and yukata, to native snack meals. Stretching out for some 200 meters, Nakamise-dori is the right place to whereas away an hour and decide up a memento or two earlier than getting into the primary floor of the temple.
The primary floor itself buzzes with accents from everywhere in the world and the clicking of cameras. Vacationers and locals combine on the temple grounds, uniting of their mission to pay their respects. 100 yen will purchase you an omikuji (fortune written on a small piece of paper). You place the cash in an honor field and shake a small cylinder containing sticks with numbers written on them. Shake the cylinder till one of many sticks falls out and pull your fortune from a drawer with the corresponding quantity. In case your fortune is dangerous, tie the paper onto a close-by string in order that the wind can disperse the dangerous luck.
Middle place within the temple forecourt is an incense burner. Right here you’ll often see a gaggle of tourists fanning smoke from the burning incense over themselves. The incense is believed to have therapeutic powers, and so fanning the smoke over your ailment will assist to heal it. If you happen to endure from headache, fan among the smoke over your head.
The primary temple corridor nonetheless homes the golden statue of Kannon, a diminutive 6cm tall, and is viewable by the general public. Step ahead to forged some cash within the provide field, which sits in entrance of the alter, take a step again, place your arms collectively, prey after which bow. That is the usual follow of preying at a Bhuddist temple.
To the left of the forecourt and forming a part of the temple, is the 5 story (53 meter) pagoda. A 1973 reconstruction of the unique pagoda constructed on the identical floor. That is the most important pagoda in Tokyo.
Destroyed by earthquakes and World Struggle Two aerial bombings, Sensoji Temple has been rebuilt and reconstructed time and time once more. Testomony to the importance it holds throughout the Bhuddist group and most people. A remembrance of centuries previous values and traditions that keep it up right this moment inside Tokyo's chaotic way of life, Sensoji is a steadying reminder that regardless of warring nations and new know-how, some issues will at all times stay.