Sensō-ji – Welcome to Japan

Part 3

Next destination, we moved to Asakusa, Tokyo, where it was gloomy and sprinkling. Typically, at Sensō-ji, it is swarmed with visitors to see this famous temple from around the world…

The first entrance I encountered was the Kaminarimon or Thunder gate.  Unfortunately, this gate was under construction due to the Sendai Earthquake, so I was not able to see the full architecture of this building, but I just assumed that it would be similar to the other gate that I went through to enter the inner complex.  Anyways, beyond the Kaminarimon, was filled with mini-shops.  This stripe was called Nakamise dori.  The stores were either Japanese traditional snacks, ice cream, or souvenirs for the visitors.  As I continued, I  walk through Hōzōmon, or the Treasure House Gate.   On either side stood mighty guardians of the temple.  Their existence felt as if they were testing our soul as good or evil as I passed through them.   As they are the protector of this temple.  Through the little walk, I can see the whole effort in preserving to leaving the structures looking how it did back then; from the ground to roofing, to unique red color of the buildings, etc.

One of the Japanese society efforts that I appreciate is the determination in preserving and the passion in preserving the Japanese cultural from significant locations to its architectures, and also the philosophies that shape the society.  This preservation effort continues even if it is in the center of the main capital city, destroyed by war, or from the natural disaster.  For example, this temple was destroyed during War World 2, but Japan rebuilt it from exact natural resources that were used; like the color and the design.  As well as the maintenance that Japanese people take in as their duty shows the importance as a society in preserving for learning about their own culture and history.

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One of the long lasting memory that I have about this temple is the Owaraji, traditional Japanese straw sandal.  This hand woven Owaraji took my family’s breath away of how gigantic it is.  I do not know why but my family all loved it.  That’s my brother, dad, and sister from going right to left on the picture, staring at this magnificent Owaraji for a good minute or two.

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