A Morning Spent in Asakusa

IMG_4789So the first morning of my trip to Tokyo, I wandered Asakusa, which was the location of the hostel I stayed in, and I had to visit Sensouji–the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo and a famous landmark!

So I woke up and began walking towards Kaminarimon or “Thunder Gate.”  I knew exactly where it was because I had gotten lost trying to find my hostel the night before and, in my wanderings, had been drawn to it!  Well, it’s kind of hard to miss, being a giant paper lantern in the middle of urban Tokyo…

IMG_4765It was impossible to get a photo without tourists in it.  Perhaps the worst part about tourist locations… other tourists.

IMG_4770Beyond the gate is Nakamise-dori.  The many shops selling souvenirs and traditional items, combined with the school children waiting to ambush foreign tourists to practice their English, make it quite a tourist trap.  The stalls are actually quite nice–I bought a postcard with a traditional print of Asakusa to send home to my family.  But I have gotten quite fed up with the young students who are brought to touristy spots just so they can practice their English.  I don’t mind getting stopped once by a group of friendly, curious students, but after the first time, the others mark you as an approachable target and the next thing you know, you’ve answered the exact same questions in slow, easy to understand English at least five times.  “Where are you from?”  “Where do you want to visit in Japan?”  “What is your favorite Japanese food?”  I just want to visit the temple!!

Finally, after fighting my way through the throngs and dodging yet another school group, I make it to Hōzōmon or the “Treasure House Gate.”

IMG_4777Pass through the gate and you find yourself at the main hall. (Finally.)

IMG_4787Note the high school girls burning incense (and taking photos) in the bottom left!

I’m no particularly devout follower of any religion, but I seem to constantly find myself exploring temples and shrines!  Is it their beautiful architecture?  Their rich history?  Their cultural importance?  Probably all of the above.  But I think any foreigner traveling to a new country and trying to understand the culture would be a complete idiot to not visit the places of religious and spiritual value.  After all, these are actually active places of worship, and you will see people coming to pray just as you will find tourists and school trips.

IMG_4794Obligatory selfie.  Hello~!

Bonus, ramen for lunch:

IMG_2150Stay tuned for the second part of my Asakusa adventure: night shots!

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About secretforkeeps

Hello! I'm just an amateur blogger and photographer who enjoys travel and learning languages. I'm currently back in the US and use my blog to record my past adventures and plan for the future ones. ;)
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1 Response to A Morning Spent in Asakusa

  1. Pingback: Japan 2013-2014 | Tripping and Traveling

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