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.

The fountain

Interesting clothing


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