Saturday, August 8, 2015

Tokyo, Japan: Sensoji Temple

During Christmas break, Hao and I were able to go visit a few cities. Tokyo was our third stop! It was actually one of my favorite cities. I love how it's a huge city, but the streets have cozy feel about them. Also, the people are nice to tourists and were very helpful & respectful when we asked questions or needed directions. 

Blazer: Gap
Sweater: Old Navy
Button-up shirt: Target
White pants: H&M
Boots: Ralph Lauren
Necklace: Wal-Mart (I was surprised to find this!) 
The jacket & boots were definitely worn on repeat on this trip! 

Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate):
so. many. people.
We went to the temple on New Year's Eve, which is a very important holiday for them, so there were a ton of people visiting and worshiping at the temple.

Look at the detail! 

Right after going through the gate, there are some a lot of shops:

Now, into the temple:

There are many different areas for people to worship, each having their own ritual.

Hao standing by the burning pit with his mask on. Gotta keep those germs out! 

The temple with the Tokyo Sky Tree in the background.

One of the New Year cleansing rituals. I don't quite understand what this one is. It looked like people were putting things in boxes and there was some shaking going on. I couldn't read any of the directions since they were all in Japanese. 

The main temple area.

This is another one of the cleansing rituals. They must have thought I was nuts (or just another nosey tourist) because I just stood and watched trying to figure out what was going on. I must have a stumped expression on my face. They didn't pay any mind to me, though. In the pit in front of them, there is something burning and the people try to blow the smoke on themselves. You can see this boy's dad pushing his head toward the smoke.

The entrance to the main temple.

Here is where you write a wish down and tie it on the wire. They are burned on New Year's Day and I think the tradition is that your wish will come true.

 The main temple area. People will throw coins, then raise their hands to their heads and bow. You can see a few people doing this in the photo below. 

Some of the other smaller shrines:

Worshipers dressed in traditional attire:

Another burning pit at the entrance of a smaller temple

There were also people cleansing themselves by washing their hands. They scooped water, washed their hands, and then dumped it near their feet. Some people also sipped it and spit it out.

We bought masks to wear so that we'd fit in, but I was never brave enough to wear mine. 

I died when I saw this golden . The gold part reminds me of something that I don't feel like it should remind me of. And it's not a sweet potato. I just couldn't help it. Sorry Tokyo!! 

On that note, hope ya enjoyed a few laughs and learned a little bit about the Buddhist New Years traditions from this post! If you ever travel to Tokyo, the temple is a must-see!  

Our last stop- Seoul, Korea- coming on Wednesday!! 

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