On July 10th, I visited Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo prefecture. I visited the temple during the Hozuki Market. The market was held on July 9th & 10th, and throughout the two days, more than 200 booths were set up with various food and souvenirs for sale. Most of the stands were selling hozukis, which are a type of potted plant. The Day of 46,000 Blessings takes place during the Hozuki Market as well. It is said that praying once at Senso-ji on July 9th or 10th is equivalent to 46,000 days of prayers and, in effect, 46,000 days of blessings.
I rented a yukata to wear during my time at Senso-ji. Yukatas are a type of kimono to be worth during the summer months. Yukatas are made up of a single piece of fabric without an inner lining. Yukatas are also typically made from cotton, linen, or polyester and do not get as hot as a traditional kimono.
During my time at Senso-ji Temple, I first walked through Kaminarimon Gate which is Senso-ji’s main outer gate that features a large paper lantern. From there, I passed through Hozomon Gate which is Senso-ji’s inner gate and larger than Kaminarimon.
After passing through Hozomon, I entered the main grounds of Senso-ji Temple, where there is a beautiful pagoda and the temple’s main building. The main building features a huge offertory box and walking area on its second level or nureen.
Directly next to Senso-ji’s main hall, there is a Shinto shrine by the name of Asakusa Shrine, which feels like a part of Senso-ji. Due to its religious affiliation, it is separate from Senso-ji but exists in harmony with the famed Buddhist temple. In Japan, Shintoism and Buddhism exist simultaneously and much of the population practices both religions.
Senso-ji is one of the most impressive temples that I have visited during my time in Japan. It feels different than any other temple that I have been to, as well, due to there being permanent shopping and food stands leading to the main building. These stands make Senso-ji feel like an area of Asakusa, than a standard temple. Overall, the entire Asakusa area is very charming and Senso-ji is definitely the highlight of the area.