(My one and only issue with not traveling alone is that I’ve less free time to post to this site from the road. So kindly allow me to fill you in on some more notable details and pics from my recent Tokyo trip…)
Being the second Monday of the first month of the year, January 9th marked Seijin no hi or “Coming of Age Day” for all of Japan, and to celebrate I took LinLyn to Sensoji to see the throngs of kimono-clad girls. And we weren’t disappointed—these three were posing for photos right outside the Asakusa subway station.
To get to the temple we first had to pass through Kaminarimon or “Thunder Gate”, then make it to the other end of this busy souvenir shopping arcade. Yeah, we bought a thing or two along the way…
Here’s me making like a local while LinLyn looks on in disdain. The deal is you buy some incense in front of the temple, light it then add it to a huge smoldering urn and let the smoke waft over you for good luck. And good luck is what that backwards swastika stands for in Japan, even after Nazi misappropriation.
After taking in the good luck fumes we joined the throngs entering the temple and found out that all the hubbub was solely for throwing change through the grates of a giant donation box. Some people couldn’t wait until they got to the front of the crowd and tossed the contents of their pockets over the heads of those in front of them.
Escape from the flying shrapnel was difficult with another big crowd boxing us in from behind. It wasn’t really an issue, though—lots of people ducked, but nobody seemed to get hit.
Just as popular as the young ladies in kimonos were these corn-eating kids. Their mother was having a good laugh while everyone stopped for a photo, including yours truly—hey, when in Rome… And all the while the kids kept at their cobs like old pros.
My buddy Sean and I had discovered during our 2003 visit that Ginza-dori Avenue was closed to vehicular traffic on special occasions. I took LinLyn to check it out, and found the Ginza Apple Store, where I posted my holiday hello.