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Hop aboard our rickshaw…

Join me and a rather well-known, ever-elegant, Parisian Gentleman (and my partner-in-life)…

( Sonya Nicholson and Hugo Jacomet)

Our driver is quite nice and rather funny. I think you’ll like him.

In the distance, do you see the Tokyo Sky Tree tower?  It is a broadcasting, restaurant, and observation tower in Sumida, Tokyo that reached its full height of 634.0 metres (2,080 ft) in March 2011, making it the tallest tower in the world.  At night, the tower displays alternating colors, with one night shining blue and the next night illuminating purple.

The street lanterns lining the streets gives an ambiance of years past with a surreal romanticism filling the air.

- Time to disembark. Surrounding the Temple, the grounds are serene…

—Who would have thought that the 10 minute walk to the Temple Grounds would look like this?
And now a little history…or more than you ever wanted to know about a Buddhist temple:

From wiki: “Sensō-ji (金龍山浅草寺Kinryū-zan Sensō-ji?) is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakus, Taito, Tokyo, Japan.  It is Tokyo’s oldest temple, and one of its most significant. Formerly associated with the Tendal sect, it became independent after World War II. Adjacent to the temple is a Shinto shrine, the Asakusa Shrine”  The photos above are of this temple.

According to legend, Senso-ji’s (senso-ji.jp) origins date to 628 A.D., when two fishermen in Asuka, then the capital of Japan, retrieved a statue of Kannon-Bosatsu, the Buddhist goddess of compassion. They brought the divine image to Haji no Nakamoto, the town headman, who converted his home into a temple devoted to the deity, establishing the oldest existing temple in Japan. The temple became a major site of worship during the centuries between its establishment and the present day, and its priests expanded its grounds and built an immense complex of shrines and halls of worship upon the site through the years. Senso-ji currently receives more than 30 million visitors annually. Admission is free, and the temple is open all year long (“Temples in Tokyo”, USA Today.)

This photo and the next one was borrowed from HectorBC of Flicker. Here is a building on the grounds with a single layer roof built on an aesthetic iki design, that has survived the big Kanto earthquake and the bombing of the second world war.

Another temple in Tokyo: The most authentic and impressive temple you’ll find in North West Tokyo is the Gokoku-ji just outside Ikebukuro.  It is a Buddhist temple in Tokyo’s Bunkyo-ku and  was established by the mother of the Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi. In 1873, Emperor Meiji declared Gokoku-ji the Imperial mausoleum, and several of his children are buried there, as well as Emperor Meiji himself. It remains the Imperial mausoleum today.Gokoku-ji is also famous as the central temple that oversees the practice of the Japanese tea ceremony in all the country’s temples.The temple area includes traditional Japanese grounds, a pagoda, a tower, a garden of lanterns and housing. As for dates, Gokokuji is a Buddhist temple in the Bunkyo ward and was founded in 1681 in the Edo period.

A close up photo taken with my iPhone of a section of the Pagoda of Sensōji Temple, also known as the Asakusa Kannon Temple.   Fascinating detail.

All and all, this is a day that I’ll never forget. ~Sonya

55 thoughts on “Hello Tokyo — A Stylish Rickshaw Ride

  1. Absolutely amazing pictures you got there – great memories for you. Wow your Rickshaws back must be strong to pull those all day! I can only imagine it was amazing :D

  2. Your photographs and words are all seasons, many emotions – yes, so much style, and flair..thanks so much, I really got an exotic flavour, and thanks for the rich information too.

  3. Ive been to many place, but never Tokyo. I’ve always been impressed with my sisters pictures and stories about the few times she has been. I love reading about other people’s experiences too.

  4. Great Tokyo pictures. I stayed in a ryokan quite near the temple that you visited. Loved that neighborhood.
    Thanks for the beautiful photos and for allowing me to revisit Tokyo again. I’ve been three times – the last time 2008.

    jmm

  5. I love your blog. I am a follower now. I am so glad you followed my blog judysp.wordpress.com otherwise I might never have found yours. Happy Blogging cheers Judy :)

  6. Beautiful pictures and very nice blog! As a Japanese I always recommend people from other countries to visit Asakusa. Personally I love there. it is showing Japan very well. you might understand what i mean… :)

    • Thank you tokyo girl, and I understand your recommendation, as I feel I want to return to Asakusa because this has been a very special day for me. Because of your comment, I added some obvious details about Askusa as well, so thank you for the inspiration. ~Sonya

  7. Thank you for taking me to Tokyo! I wrote in my blog recently about my therapist telling me of her travels there a couple weeks ago and thanks to you I can put an actual visual to what she described to us. The temple is awe inspiring and the footage/pictures helps me understand the inspirations for anime’s etc. Those rick shaw drivers have to be in such great shape to do that all day long! Such a positive attitude too.

  8. You should definitely go….you won’t regret it! The dapper gent is Hugo Jacomet, founder of Parisian Gentleman online magazine & filmmaker/director…it is a pleasure and honor to say that he’s my guy. ~S

  9. I went to Tokyo many years ago. Love to go on a rickshaw next time. You and your guy has definitely made the rickshaw ride a stylish one! About the Buddhist temple, thanks for sharing. My visit to Japan was before I started to be interested in studying Asian art. Would love to go again soon to take a closer look at some Buddhist temples. Your post has indeed inspired me!

  10. OMG!!! What an… Interesting… Ride!
    I always wanted to go to Japan – my 4 grandparents are japanese, and so is my husband.
    So jealous! Thank you for preparing me psychologically to my next trip! lol!

  11. Striking, how Japan, though finally industrializing at gunpoint, managed to do that both wholeheartedly and without losing its essence as a culture in the process. And then leaped to the front rank of industrial nations though short of natural resources. A unique and formidable accomplishment, seems to me…

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