Asakusa

My Summertime adventure has officially begun!  Kim, Erin, and I set out to Asakusa today (in the rain… seriously, where did that come from?). Asakusa is a town in the heart of Tokyo and is most known for the Buddhist Sensoji Temple.  When we arrived at our hotel, we were a bit displeased to find that our intriguing capsule style hotel would be musty, dingy, dirty, and… yellow?  We each get a bed inside of a little cubby, with a light, a television (which we still haven’t figure out how to turn on), and a clock.  We also each get a small locker for our belongings.  The hygiene here was not up to par, but the owners, a woman and her grandmother (obaasan), are so incredibly nice that it’s difficult to fully regret deciding to stay here. Besides, it’s only for one night.  The obaasan startled us when we were checking in when she came up behind us and asked us if we wanted a drink.  We turned around and were momentarily confused until we looked down and realized that the voice was coming from a small old woman holding a tray of water cups whose head only reached our waists.  When talking to the owner after settling in, we discovered the obaasan had her own little entry behind the front counter.  Kim was leaning over looking at a map when the obaasan politely gestured for her to move.  At first we thought she was leaning on some paperwork the obaasan needed, but when she moved away, we watched her disappear underneath the counter, barely having to bend over at all, and emerge from a door that perfectly fit her height.  It was downright adorable.

So, Kim and I went to visit the Sensoji Temple and found that it was only a one minute walk from our hotel.  Erin had some shopping to do, so she didn’t go with us.  The entrance was beautiful and detailed, and lead to a shopping street with small street vendors.  Once you have passed all of the vendors, you can waft incnse smoke from an incense well over various parts of your body, and it is supposed to contain healing powers.  One nice old woman told us we should wave it over our hearts.  After that, there is a hand washing station, where you are supposed to wash your hands before entering a temple, out of respect.  Once inside, you can make a prayer by facing the main part of the temple, throwing a coin into a pit, clapping, and bowing to pray for a moment.

The detail underneath.

A woman was selling fresh, soft, warm rice cakes.  They were coated lightly in something, and were amazing.

 I am on Kim’s computer and it is out of battery, so this post is currently under construction and will be finished soon.  Sorry!