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


Ommmmmm


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


Silhouette


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


Poi


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