Monday, July 31, 2017

Senso-ji, Night and Day

When I started planning our trip to Japan, the idea of using not just Tokyo - but Senso-ji Temple in particular - to bookend our trip, started to appeal to me. I'd read the temple was great to visit at night, as it was illuminated and empty. (For some perspective, Senso-ji and and Meiji Shrine are tied for 'world's most-visited religious site'.) We could experience its beauty in peace when we arrived and then visit it during regular hours on our last day in Japan, getting some last-minute souvenir shopping done in the bargain.

Thursday, July 27, 2017



I'm so happy that I discovered shuin before arriving in Japan. When I was looking at souvenir ideas (guys, I was so prepared for this trip, you have no idea...) I came across websites devoted to these neat little books, called goshuin-cho. The name means "honorable red stamp book" and it works almost as a shrine and temple passport. You pay 300 yen and a monk or kannushi will first stamp your page with red ink and then - this is the cool part - will calligraph the name of the temple and the date you visited over the stamps.