Night at Asakusa(July 8)
Many thanks for joining our tours in Asakusa on July 8. We welcomed 10 people from Brazil, Australia,Spain,Morocco and Japan. The weather was perfect but extremely hot. Nevertheless, I hope all of you enjoyed walking with us at Sensoji Temple. In the meantime unprecedented torrential rains have pounded the broad parts of western Japan triggering flooding and landslides. Regrettably, a large number of residents have passed away.
The Tokyo’s oldest Sensoji Temple has a different face in the evening. The buildings such as Kaminarimon Gate,Nakamise Shopping Street,Hozomon Gate,Pagoda and the main hall are beautifully illuminated until 11pm. Although the main hall is closed at 5pm and the shops around 7pm, visitors are welcomed to enter the precincts at all times. The streets are packed with people in the daytime, but the night is still. It is hard to believe the hustle and bustle in the daytime.
Firstly the rooftop(8F) of Culture and Information Center(open until 10pm) commands a panoramic view of Asakusa. We can see the Japan’s highest Tokyo Sky Tree bathed in light with the height of 634 meters. Also bright color of the temple buildings is stunning. Coming down look at Kaminarimon Gate. The displayed gods of thunder and wind look impressive and striking. The massive lantern, the symbol of Asakusa looks great.
Beyond the gate Nakamise Shopping Street is decorated with the beautiful artworks. In fact it is a street gallery. The history and seasonal events of Asakusa such as Sanja Festival are depicted on the shutters of each shop. It is impossible for the daytime visitors to imagine the superb paintings since the shutters are opened.
Hozomon treasure gate is the next building. A pair of Nio guardian statues glares at the precincts with intimidating eyes and protects the area from the enemy of Buddha. Also the shining five storied pagoda is seen as the symbol of the temple. You will be moved to see the excellent contrast of light and shadow. A pair of massive waraji(rice straw sandals) is hung on the back of the gate. Such a big man wearing the huge sandal guards the gate. In front of the main hall is the incense burner. The healing smoke drifts up into the air by day. The main hall houses the Kannon Buddhist statue which was found in the river 1400 year ago when the temple was originated. Visitors pray and make a wish at the offertory box of the main hall.
There are a number of photogenic places at Sensoji Temple in the evening. The buildings are beautifully illuminated and there aren’t many visitors. Therefore, it is quieter and you can walk at your own pace, and cool off in the evening around this time in summer. The atmosphere is completely different at night. The bright color of the temple buildings will satisfy you.
(posted by Yoshi)