If you are in Tokyo today I can recommend a visit to the huge Sensoji temple in Asakusa to see the rather unique and beautiful white egret dancers – Shirasaginomai (白鷺の舞). Local children together with musicians and performers from the large Yasaka shrine in Kyoto perform in the ceremony that was only revived in 1968 using an old scroll from 1652 as basis for the dance itself.
If I have to rank the many tourist destinations in Tokyo and give you the place that should be on the top list of any tourist with the ambition to see Tokyo, it is easily the Asakusa district. I have blogged about this part of the city and the fantastically colorful Sensoji (Tokyo’s first and grandest temple) many times before but I just can’t help myself from pulling up the camera whenever I pass. Everytime I visit I have the ambition to find the odd little spots I have missed earlier, to go for details rather than large open views but I always get blown away by the colors and size of everything. Asakusa is easily the second greatest city attraction (ok, technically the greatest but Gion in Kyoto still wins for pure charm, beauty and dignity) in Japan. You can make several little trips (the place changes atmosphere and color so much during the day) or spend an entire day here from morning to midnight. Luckily most of Tokyo’s backpacker hostels are in the area. Use the tags at the bottom of the post to find more posts about Asakusa!
The many gates of the temple are fantastically photogenic, and the nearby bridge over Sumida river tends to be a popular photo spot with tourists and locals. One local lady even decided to climb the bridge pillars to get a better view! Next to the famous Kaminarimon you’ll also find the number one souvenir associated with the gate: Kaminariokoshi. In the last photo you’ll see a couple checking out the shop just before closing one evening a few weeks ago.
The last of the Firefighter’s memorial service photos from Asakusa last weekend. I was in ladder heaven! These ladders are traditionally 7m tall, but I have seen both shorter and taller ladders used in different exhibitions. Click on the ladder acrobatics tag to see more of this Japanese tradition on this blog.
Here are some more photos from the firefighters memorial service at the grand Sensoji temple in Tokyo’s Asakusa district. As you can guess I am a huge fan of these firefighters and the matoi, the heraldic poles they use in their ceremonies. The cutest thing I saw during the ceremony was a little boy and his father who were following the acrobatics holding their own handmade miniature matoi made in paper and tinfoil. I have seen these ladder teams many times before, enough to have my own favorites, but it was a great sight to see so many of them go up at once!