On my trip to Machu Picchu, this is what I saw upon first approach…A fortified Inca town in the Peru Andes Mountains, thought to be built in the 1400s (exact date unknown).
The invading Spaniards never found Machu Picchu during the war and so the Peruvians hiding away and thriving here remained safe. The site was not discovered until 1911 (Can you imagine discovering a place like this?). Machu Picchu is noted for its dramatic position, perched high on a steep-sided ridge. No one is certain about why the inhabitants here appeared to suddenly evacuate this seeming paradise.
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