Monday, December 29, 2008

The Big Red Lantern

Welcome to Asakusa! And seriously, that is a really big lantern. It weighs like a ton (the actual number was in Kilos, and I forgot it) and it really is just Paper on the frame. I don't know how often they replace it, but the temple has sported a big red lantern since before the Edo period. The temple has in fact been burnt and earthquaked down several times, and each rebuilding has seen the same elements rearranged.The walk leading to the temple and all the area around is full of shops selling traditional and traditional style (manikai neko on a phone cord) items. This is where people (gaijin and japanese alike) come for omiyage and old fashioned home goods. The best prices are off the main strip, but english signs and credit card machines abound here.

Here we have the second gate, right in front of the actual shrine. Also with a variety of lanterns, though none quite as impressive as the main one. It was an extreamely windy day, quite cold despite the clear skies. But there were plenty of people around, and long lines for freashly baked anko and little pancakes. We got fortunes, a seal for our book, and then headed in the the main shrine.

The Pagoda just west of the shrine. The metal tower on top is full of bells, and man were they noisy today! Many sects of buddism are all about making noise.

This is a painting on the cealing of the shrine, I didn't even see it the last time I was here!!

A pair of brass buddas. One is for health and the other wisdom (I think the one on the right is wisdom). At this time of year a nmber of the buddas are wearing clothes. Head scarfs and aprons, one was almost fully dressed in colorful cloth! Got the keep the budda warm I think.

1 comment:

missknits said...

wow i am totally envious and jealous! these pictures are amazing! i can only imagine what its like in person!