Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday at Sensoji Temple

The Grand Kaminarimon Gate

Learning to navigate around Tokyo using the subway system was a liberating experience. I could explore with no qualms of getting lost in this mega city. The possibilities were endless. Except for the fact that I would get tired sooner rather than later because I was trying to do too much in one day. In the morning I strolled up and down Omotesando, shopping for gifts at Oriental Bazaar and checking out the Hiroshige exhibition at the Ota Memorial Museum of Art. Refreshed and rested after a big lunch, I took the subway across town to Asakusa to see Sensoji Temple once more.

Nakamise Street

Sensoji Temple is the oldest temple in Tokyo, dating back to 628.  The Grand Kaminarimon Gate leads visitors to temple grounds. This is a favorite spot for meeting friends or photo ops with the massive red lantern in the background. Nakamise Street extends 250 meters from the gate to the temple. It is lined on each side with tempting stores but on this Sunday, it was impossibly crowded and I could only move to the flow of the crowd.


I took the side alleys to avoid the crowds and was surprised to see this rickshaw driver and delighted to have a photo of this woman in her beautiful kimono.


Here's the fountain from where the worshipper cleanses himself/herself before going to the temple.  In the central courtyard is the censer where people gather to draw the smoke emanating from the burner and rubbing it on their bodies to get rid of stress and prepare the mind for worshipping in peace.


In an area beside the temple, I found a peaceful spot to commune with Buddha.


This quote from Buddha hits the mark. It says so much about our personal journeys in life.
"You are far from the end of your journey.
The way is not in the sky.
The way is in the heart.
See how you love."

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Images by Charie

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