Our second trip to Asakusa was less busy than when we went on New Year’s Day. I don’t think it could get busier than it was on New Year’s! This past weekend was still super crowded, but I gave myself a realistic photography brief: the temple and people watching. I think I may have snapped away for not longer than 30 minutes; due to the bitter, albeit sunny, cold, and an impatient toddler who wanted to get out of the stroller and run anywhere and everywhere.
I think this area of Tokyo is one of my favorites so far. The busyness is enjoyable if you can meander through the crowds at a leisurely pace; people watching and window shopping. I’m glad my husband held on to the yen this trip, as I was sorely tempted to make so many souvenir purchases.
I may be rude doing so, and I certainly feel obtrusive taking photos of all the young girls in their pretty kimonos walking around Senso-ji Temple. They come to have their pictures taken: selfies, friends and relatives taking photos of them, and professional photographers. You go to the effort of getting all dressed up, it’s a great location and background. Yes, I’d want my photo taken, too! I realize they are used to it. I see many other tourists doing the same; as well as Japanese people. I see the same thing in England at stately homes where re-enactors dress up: every tourists wants their “English country” photograph, as do I want my “Japanese” photograph. Sharing cultures, is all it is. I have yet the courage to ask if I can be photographed with them, but give me time.
We walk under Kaminarimon or Thunder Gate, through the long line of shop vendors. I would love to stop at each stall, but busy chasing a very excited (almost) two-year-old and trying not to get my lens bashed in the process. Down towards Kannondo Hall, incense and smoke waft through my photo. People wave the smoke over their heads. Messages of good fortune and luck are purchased and tied on the ropes. Up the steps into the hall, coins are tossed into the donations box/chest and prayers are said as heads bow.
Candles are lit. The ceilings are painted with dragons and deities. Inside the sectioned off inner worship area there are those on their knees bowing and praying.
To the left of the hall, down the steps and outside there are some gardens and more shrines. A little waterfall trickles down, lots of large koi fish, and a stone half circle bridge.
And that was our Super Bowl Sunday weekend! It's given me the inspiration to start a new Photo Montage Travel Piece based on kimono patterns, parasols, and Japanese folding fans. The rest shall soon unfold!
Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by.