228 - 10th September 2006 - Tokyo
This is the route that leads to the Senso-Ji temples in Asakusa
There are over 90 shops along this little run which is named Nakamise-dori
A five story pagoda
The incense is inhaled or drawn to parts of the body to encourage healing or blessings of that part. It also makes you smell like a bonfire.
The huge paper lantern that hangs over the entrance of the shrine
The Senso-Ji shrine itself
The back of the Shrine
The whole area around the shrine is very pretty
Inside another shrine in the complex. The nine gods lined up relate to the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Some gods are greedy and look after two animals.
Chris is the year of the horse and Pip is the year of the sheep in case you were wondering. Horses
have wisdom and Sheep organise the world according to the info at the shrine
The gardens to the rear
Two Buddha in quiet contemplation
Dragon guarding the bell behind
Very large and very old
These drawings illustrate the story of the temple
Another photo of the Five Storied Pagoda
Chris at the shrine. There's actually a 7.5 cm tall Buddha in the statue that is so holy no one is allowed to see it. At least that's their story and they're sticking to it.
Pip at the Shrine in traditional Japanese pose
The incense burner
The ablutions here are more elaborate than those in Akasaka
The ceiling inside the shrine
Inside the shrine
Another ceiling panel
Buddha in the gardens
Nice isn't it
Shrines don't stay all shiny by themselves you know!
Heading back out onto the main street
This is the either the Thunder god or Wind god. One or the other. They guard the
shrine, the chicken wire guards them (from the pigeons)
The river running through Tokyo - Sumida-Gawa
The building across the river is the Asahi brewery
Yoyogi Koen park
Michael Palin came here during his circumnavigation of the Pacific Rim - If it's good enough for a python then it's good enough for us
Sundays are a particularly busy day here, all along this stretch bands were
playing, with full PA systems.
Because real estate is so expensive everyone comes here to express their art
Inside the park
It's not every day you see a Japanese bag-piper
Traditional music just along the path
We watched these guys for some time. It seems that anyone with a drum can pull up alongside and join in. When we left there were 6 people in the line.
There were some incredible hacky-sackers in the park but we sadly didn't get a good photo
Despite all the music and tap dancing and poi and hacky sacking and drumming and bagpipes it's a very relaxing place
I don't know the name of it but this is that dancing style of martial art that was on that BBC1 advert
No cycling up tall buildings when people are trying to jump off the adjacent building