After passing through the Kaminari-mon gate, I walked through the Nakamise and arrived at the Hozo-mon gate. The Nakamise, flanked by stores on both sides, is like a rail, and if you walk on the rail, you will end up at the Hozo-mon gate in a straight line. Once you pass through the Hozomon Gate with its large zori (sandals), you are almost at the main hall of Senso-ji Temple. The only thing between the Hozo-mon and the main hall is an incense burner and a store selling fortunes.
However, this incense burner is a nuisance. I could have just walked right past it and climbed up the stairs leading to the main hall, but when I came to this point, I stopped in my tracks. Many people come here to burn incense or to take in the smoke from the censer before entering the main hall. Some are elderly people with a difficult look on their faces, some are couples enjoying themselves, and some are children excitedly offering incense in a large censer for the first time. It was quite fun to stop and watch these people.
Incidentally, the custom of offering incense sticks is also found in Buddhist temples outside of Japan, but I think the custom of exposing oneself to the smoke coming from the incense burner is unique to Japan. In the Buddhist temple I visited in Indonesia, there was a large incense burner and worshippers were offering incense, but no one was bathing their bodies in the smoke. I wonder how it is.
|Jun 2021 IN THE CITY TOKYO
|ASAKUSA INCENSE BURNER SENSO-JI SILHOUETTE SMOKE
June 11, 2021
August 22, 2023
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF