Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Some Old World Japan~

August 4, 2012 ~ Visiting some old-world Japan in
Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo
Even if it was my third trip to Tokyo, I've never gotten a chance before to visit some "Old-World-Japan" sites... I've always satiated myself with the neon lights of Tokyo. This time I really wanted to visit something I've never visited before in Tokyo.
Asakusa is popular and recommended by many travel guide sites and books from what I've read. Asakusa is even called "Tokyo's most visted temple". With the beautiful temple, grandiose gates  and religious structures. It is surely was an interesting place to visit in Tokyo.
I was even so excited to come visit this place and wear my very own Kamikazari to match my vintage dress. Haha. I wanted to match the old feel of the place. But I didn't realize we would be rampaged with many tourists!@_@ Haha! I'm talking as if I'm a local. HAHA! But unlike the travel photos I've seen in many travel books and websites, I didn't realize that Sensouji Temple would be crowded with many people! 

This is not my photo. This is a typical travel guide
Sensouji Temple photo. Haha.
As you may see in this typical travel photo promoting Sensouji Temple, there were a few people in the place. I was so naive to imagine same thing going to Asakusa. Of course I was fooled! Haha! As we arrive by the entrance of the Sensouji Temple people were already swarming all over the place. May be because I went there on a Saturday weekend. But surely we had a hard time taking nice photos of the place when people kept blocking my angles and my shot... and vice versa. But anyways, since I came all the way down there with some few train rides and transfers, I might as well enjoy and make most out of my visit, take as many photos and experience praying in a Buddhist Temple.

Getting off from the train station, first thing I saw were these nice yellow lanterns.
Upon getting of the train station, I already noticed the old world feel of Asakusa with the yellow street lanterns from both sides of the street. There were even several rickshaw Riders ~ "Jinrikisha" on the side street calling tourists to avail there rides. I didn't get to take a photo of them since I'm afraid they might call me and insist on me to ride. They were so expensive, I think it would cost like at least 5,000 Yen for single passenger for at least 30 minutes. What a rip-off! But hey, it's their bread and butter perhaps. 

Anyways, I realized we didn't need to take that Jinrikisha, going inside the Sensouji Temple is just by foot. As just a five minute walk from the station or less even.

Underneath this photo is the swarm of people I cropped out of the shot.
That Giant Lantern is fascinating.
I like Japanese Lanterns... It's just so nice to look at haha! But I've never seen such huge lanterns like in the Sensouji Temple! Those giant lanterns are killer lanterns! Haha! I wonder if someone would be fallen by that lantern, I think they would die. Haha! It's even more than life size. I think it's thrice the size of a human being. Haha! I kept asking my kareshi what is it made of, but of course, being his first time going to Sensouji Temple himself he couldn't give me a decent answer. Haha! I remember him being baffled himself too!

The giant lantern by the Kaminarimon Gate of the Sensouji Temple.
This is HUGE!
As we enter the temple, the most obvious is the swarming tourist going by the site. There were lots of shops by the first gate~ Kaminarimon Gate. Well, of course it was nice looking at souvenir items. I kept looking for postcards of course. I got some of my favorite picks~ 

Sensouji Temple Postcard ~  I love the vivid colors.
A Painting by Shoukyokusai Kuniteru (?) I have to check again who made this painting
since this is what's written at the back of the postcard but I couldn't Google it.
Front view of the Main Sensouji Temple on a wooden block painting postcard. I think I should research more about who made this art piece. I really like the art style anyways.
"... Back then Sensouji Temple was already swarming with people~" 

I always prefer postcards looking like paintings rather than the typical photo-postcard 'coz I feel it's more unique and it brings me feeling of history in it too. I remember paying around 600 Yen for five postcards. Usually postcards costs around 90-100 Yen each but since it's unique... (Well at least relatively more unique) I splurge on them a little bit. Yes I am a Postcard hoarder. Haha!

... Another nice wood block painting. The view and the vivid colors are so enticing to me.

Asakusa's  Cool Tourist Stamp!
The panda is so cute even! 
Actually, I got some other more but before I even realized I should take a picture of them, I already shipped them out to my friends and to Atreyu. We always send Atreyu a postcard whenever we go on any trips. What actually enticed me to get some postcards from the souvenirs shops in Asakusa is the "Tourist Stamp" I found in the tourist office right in front of the Sensouji Temple. 

As soon as I got my postcards, we went back to the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center to have my postcards stamped on. It kinda felt "so-authentic" like "I was here!". Haha!

Anyways, it was actually quite fun to look around even at the souvenir shops in the Sensouji Temple. I'll be blogging about them definitely in my next coming blogs. 

Moving on to our walk in the Sensouji Temple, even if the place was swarming with tourist and the summer heat was extremely hot, the sites and the structures were quite nice.

We passed by the Five-storied Pagoda which good thing about it is even if the place is filled with many people, the view won't be blocked by any of it. It stands tall and pretty.

Five-Storied Pagoda ~ Standing so tall and pretty!

The second gate of the Sensouji Temple is the Hozomon Gate. It also has that huge lantern but I didn't get to take a decent photo because (pardon me) of the rude Chinese tourist. Sorry for sounding so snobby and rude. But I was actually so surprised how rude and obnoxious were these tourist not minding of some other people were taking photos and they're blocking the way, they don't even care if you say "Excuse me!" I'm so appalled. But anyways, I tried to take a photo of the texture of the gate instead. Haha.

Hozomon Gate ~ The second gate before reaching the main temple... 
Well I didn't get to take a wider shot coz there were many people blocking my view!

As we entered the second gate, there we saw a nice view (but with many people) of the main temple. It really looks so nice and grand.

The Main Hall of the Sensouji Temple

As we enter the temple many people crowded over the altar. The altar was actually so beautiful and looks like a treasure.

The grandiose altar in the main hall of the Sensouji Temple. It's so rich and beautiful.

A Buddhist Monk at the altar
Trying to take a closer shot at the altar behind the bars
Interior of the Main Hall of the Sensouji Temple... Even the ceilings are intricately designed...

Omikuji Fortune Drawers where fortune is drawn and kept.
We did this Buddhist stick fortune called "Omikuji". I think we dropped 100 Yen to get to try our fortune then draw from the drawer slots. I actually even encountered a very very rude Chinese family who was rudely trying to grab the Omikuji Box I've already paid and was shaking the box to get my fortune. I can't believe even it even... The Chinese teenager was brawling at me and was shouting in Mandarin. I don't know what's she's saying, but she was really forcingly grabbing the Omikuji Box with me. Haha. I almost didn't mind her at first because I was figuring out the procedure how to do it. But she was really disrupting and very agitated. I can't believe these Chinese family, right in front of the altar were doing this rude and unmannerly behavior. They didn't even have some decency not to create commotion in front of praying people in a sacred place! Plus~ can't they wait for their turn? Well good thing my kareshi backed them off. Haha. 

Anyways back to my first "Omikuji Fortune" even if I encountered some debacle over getting my fortune. I actually got "The Best Fortune" ~ I think I prayed for Taka and Atreyu's good life and fortune while drawing on the Omikuji. Haha! I'm so happy!  The words of wisdom on the fortune reading seems fit to me. Sadly, Taka got the opposite of my fortune and got himself a bad fortune (>_<) But I told him it's okay since we can share my "Best Fortune" anyways! Haha! 

Taka and Tracy's Fortune from the Omikaji Stick Fortune!
Moving along... As we leave the main building I got some nice shot angle of the Main Hall of the Sensouji Temple. At this angle the temple seemed quiet and not jam packed with people. Haha. What a trick. Haha!

With this angle the temple looks so quiet and just some few people
but it was almost jam packed with rude Chinese tourists!
We walked a little bit more on the right side of the Main Hall and found some other small and quiet temples made for prayers. The Yakushido Hall was closed and empty but it was very serene sitting by the steps.

Yakushido Hall: Finally a quiet place to take a photo! Haha!
Our one and only photo together
in Asakusa from an Instax Camera

But when Taka & I decided to take a photo by the Yakushido Hall together, some people started to come by already... So we didn't get to take any photo at all!
At around noon time we decided to leave Asakusa off to our next destination. 
But before leaving the temple, we realized we didn't have any photos together yet! So we just took this snap in front of a painting. Haha~
Well, even if I kept saying how much swarm of people I've encountered going by Asakusa. I really enjoyed the experience... Offering prayer by the shrine, window shopping by the souvenir shops, getting "Best Fortune" from the "Omikuji", collecting postcards and getting tourist stamped, I really enjoyed this trip with my souvenirs and mementos on hand and a positive vibe I got from it spiritually. I felt cleansed.


  1. I like your photo at yakushido hall. it looks so peaceful and you are kinda gorgeous haha. it was my first time to visit asakusa as well and thanks for making it fun!

    1. yeah and i kept asking you who made the temples and who maintains them LOL hahah how would you know it was also your first time hahahah!

  2. Actually your photo skill here is so great. It looks like you write a tourist guide.


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