Since I’m not traveling for the time being, I’ve decided to catch up on some of the subjects I’ve hadn’t had time to publish during some of my recent trips. What better way to start then that favourite destination of mine : Tokyo. One of Tokyo’s great temples is Sensoji Temple which is located in the Asakusa area.

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Tokyo’s temples tend to be hidden between two skyscrapers. Not this one. It’s too large for that. It has a nice little japanese garden with all the micro vistas the japanese enjoy so much, a large pagoda, and a huge incense burner where joss sticks are burnt and which you can see smoking away in the central courtyard.

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Like other temples that I’ve seen in Taiwan, Bali or Hong Kong, Sensoji Temple is not exactly a place of religious fervor and doesn’t impress in the same way that a church, synagogue or mosque does. People here are busy having their fortune told or buying favor from the gods. No deep meditation here, just a lot of catering to superstition. I have to admit that in the country of Zen, Haiku, the Tea ceremony etc… I have not yet had the chance to come across these intensely spiritual activities. My japanese friends tell me it’s because I haven’t been to the right places yet (they’re hopefully right). I aim to redress this next time I go to Japan.

Back to Sensoji and one of the nicer features that make it worth going there : the very long covered gallery that serves as access to the Temple. You can find a large sampling of traditional crafts at cheap prices and, best of all, numerous candy shops. Japanese candy is a little “weird” for us westerners (a lot of it is made out of rice…) but, passed the initial surprise, like any candy, it’s really quite delicious. They offer samples at every shop so you can taste before you buy (absolutely necessary for us gai-jin ;-)).