It’s just a 20 minute walk from Ueno Park to the Senso-Ji Temple. This is Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. As we get closer the crowds begin to build. There are buff Japanese dudes in the area in tight spandex and flamboyant man-blouses that work rickshaws. Things seem to be getting pretty touristy. The wind has died down and it’s turning into a really nice day.
The approach to the temple is marked by a long strip of shops and souvenir spots and it is jam packed with people all the way up to a central gate with a massive red lantern in the center. There are imposing Oni on each side but they are fenced in and hard to see unless you’re up close.
There is also a 5 story pagoda here called the Shinto Shrine. It’s just off to the left of the main temple. This is an impressive complex, I can see the draw.
We go up the steps into the main temple passing by another massive red lantern. It is rather ornate inside and we’re not supposed to take pictures. I snap one of some Goddess on the ceiling before I notice though.
We decide to pick up a fortune for Narcopiggy. it’s only fair since Queenie and I have both gotten one today. These fortunes come in a metal container that you shake and then pull out a numbered stick. You search for the number in a little fortune cabinet, open the drawer and take a fortune. Queenie seems pretty serious about this, it’d better be good.
Let’s see what you’ve got Narco. Fortune level… Regular?
Black clouds on the moon have cleared up, it’s about time!
Descendant will grow numerous?! Atta boy!
And just to reiterate: Building a new house and removal are both well.
Well that was cool, not much else to look at though and there’s a heavy torrent of stereotypical tourists so we’re outta here.
We head back through the souvenir emporium, through the gates and back to the start of the strip. We try to get a shot of us and the temple with not too too many people or pumped up rickshaw pilots but can’t quite pull it off. Hmmmmm this looks like a job for the selfie stick. Yep, bingo. Honestly though, travelling w self sticks….
Back on the streets we spot the Tokyo Sky Tree across the river off in the distance and beeline straight for it.
It’s a nice walk, only about 20 minutes, across the bridge, through some side streets and passed some cool new developments. I think the golden horned building across the river in the above pic is going to be a new Kirin destination brewery.
There were some great local life moments on the walk, a fortune kitty, a street side vending machine full of beer, and another good view of the Skytree by some street side monument of…
Is this a steamed buns delivery vehicle?
Japan’s greatest wheelbarrow race straight into a lamp post?
Whoa that’s a tall tower!
We make our way to the Skytree and up the steps and the escalator and the next escalator and steps and more steps to the front entrance. Sun is descending fast and.. shit! There’s a huge line to get up there. probably should have considered that.
We ask the uniform clad Line Forming Girl about the wait time and she says it’ll be 60 minutes just to get the tickets. Faaaaaaaaaaawk. Should we bother? I put three fingers up to the horizon and gauge the time until sunset. Then having no idea how to actually measure time using my fingers I use my phone to look up the exact time until sunset. Hmmmmm shit, it’s gonna be close. “Whaddya think?”, “We’re already here…”, “True, it’ll probably look sweet at night too actually. Fuck it, let’s wait.”
We baby step our way closer and closer to the ticket counter as the sun laughs at us.