Tokyo Thunder Gate

by Kieran August. 20, 2008 2514 views

This is the ‘Thunder Gate’, the outer entrance to Tokyo's Sensō-ji Buddhist temple! There's a statue living on each side of the gate, the left being of Raijin, the god of thunder and lightning, and the right being Fūjin, the god of wind. These statues guard the temple site from any who might seek to harm it or enter uninvited…

The gate also contains a massive lantern!

This gate, the Hōzōmon (Treasure-House Gate) is the inner entrance to the temple. Between the two gates is a shopping street popular with tourists where you can buy anything from religious objects to toy ninja kits to fried noodles! The temple also has a 5 layer pagoda tower which you can see on the left here.

The inner gate also has a large lantern on display at its centre, and two more ornate decorated ones either side.

This is the main temple building. The temple is dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon, also known as Guan Yin or the Goddess of Mercy. It's also the oldest temple in Tokyo! As with any other you can pray at the altar, burn some incense or purchase good luck charms to carry around with you or leave at the temple to improve your luck.

This massive sandal hangs on the inner gate of the temple. The idea behind it is that evil spirits would see the shoe, and think “Oh no! look at the size of that shoe! It must belong to the person who guards the temple, if he has shoes that big he's probably not a bloke we should cross, let's leave immediately and take up crochet knitting instead..” And thus, terrible crisis is averted…

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