At the end of the Nakamise shopping street is the Hozomon Gate that leads to Sensoji Temple. Sensoji is Tokyo’s oldest temple, having been originally built in 645 AD, and it’s probably also the most popular temple in the city. Outside the main hall is a large pot where people burn incense candles and try to cover themselves in the smoke that arises from it. I think I read somewhere that in Buddhist tradition the smoke from the incense candles is supposed to have some sort of purifying or healing effect. Near Sensoji’s main hall there’s also five-story pagoda, but at the time when I was visiting it wasn’t open to the public.
Sensoji Temple’s main hall is pretty big and although there’s a screen separating the public from the main worship area you can still see inside and gaze upon the ornate altar. When I walked up into the main hall a ceremony had just finished and the monks were cleaning out the interior. One of them was vacuuming the inside of the hall with a cordless Dyson vacuum (not sure why I remember that detail specifically). Like many other buildings in Tokyo, Sensoji was wiped out during the bombing raids of World War 2, but its reconstruction is quite impressive and I can see why Sensoji gets so many visitors every single day.
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