Japan was my dream for a long time. You know, all these symbols of creativity, traditions, and technology never left my mind. So one day I decided that I need to visit the Country on Rising Sun. And I did it.PART I | PART II | PART III | PART IV | PART V | PART VI
We came to Tokyo at night and the first impressions for us were cleanliness in the streets of the Capital. I’ve never seen before such clean streets, especially after Tel Aviv where the cleanliness is just a word in the dictionaries. So, we came to Tokyo at night and decided to take a short walk around out one-week-neighborhood and we walked 6km in one way from Shimbashi to Shibuya (the most famous crossing intersection in the world). Of course, I made a few photos, but I wanted to start my photo-journey in Japan from the next day when we visited the Asakusa district.
The Kaminarimon (“Thunder Gate”) is the outer large entrance gate that ultimately leads to the Senso-ji temple in Asakusa district. Unfortunately, right now Kaminarimo is on restoration works.
In the center of the Kaminarimon, under the gate, hangs a giant red chochin (traditional bamboo and paper lighting) that is 4m tall, 3.4m in circumference and weighs 670kg. The front of the lantern displays the gate’s name- Kaminarimon and on the back is the gate’s official name- Furaijinmon.
The Hozomon (“Treasure-House Gate”) is the inner large entrance gate that ultimately leads to the Sensō-ji temple. The Hōzōmon was first built in 942 AD by Taira no Kinmasa. The gate features three large lanterns. The largest and most prominent lantern is a red chochin that hangs under the center of the gate’s opening. With a height of 3.75m, a diameter of 2.7m and a weight of 400kg.
Senso-ji (or Asakusa Kannon Temple) is a Buddhist temple, the oldest adn the most significant in Tokyo. The first Senso-ji was founded in 645 AD and dedicated to Guanyin, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. During World War II, the temple was bombed and destroyed. It was rebuilt later and is a symbol of rebirth and peace to the Japanese people.
Senso-ji dragon fountain. Before the entrance to the temple, you should clean your hands and area around your mouth, it’s a symbolic being symbolizes the purity of actions and thoughts during the prayer.
Senso-ji has a large incense burner in front of the main hall of the temple. It’s customary to wave the smoke towards you to purify yourself. Incense can be purchased and lit here if you’d like to contribute to the smokiness.
The main entrance to the Senso-ji shrine.
On the Senso-ji’s territory, there are a lot of shrines, places for praying and worship of the gods.
For me, this photo is a symbol of Japan, where centuries-old traditions and modern technology can coexist.
Asakusa streets around the Senso-ji temple.
Three young ladies (I’m pretty sure that they’re not maikos) in traditional Japanese kimonos.
Traditional Japanese rickshaw. Rickshaw is a two or three-wheeled passenger cart, which is generally pulled by one man. Rickshaw originates from the word “jinrikisha” (jin– human, riki– power or force and sha- vehicle). Rickshaws were invented in Japan about 1869 after the lifting of a ban on wheeled vehicles from the Tokugawa period (1603–1868).
Be prepared for the fact that people in Japan don’t know English, they can’t understand you and can’t answer your questions. Somewhere it’s not a problem because you can find someone who speaks English (like in Tokyo), but somewhere it will be a huge problem (of course if you don’t know Japanese).
The rickshaw-man advertises his services.
The Tokyo’s cop.
The Asahi Beer Hall is one of the buildings of the Asahi Breweries headquarters located on the east bank of the Sumida River. The main building (shaped as a beer glass) with the “Asahi Flame” was designed in 1989 by Philippe Starck.
The “selfie” nation.
Japan is very “visual” country. I mean for the Japanese visual part is much more important than the textual part, so on the streets, you can find a lot of symbols which help you to understand what exactly in this building is.
Tokyo Skytree is an observation broadcasting and entertainment tower in Sumida district. It became the tallest structure in Japan (634m) and the second tallest structure in the world after the Burj Khalifa.
Nothing special, two Japanese businessmen on racing carts.
Decorative tiles with the red koi (Japanese carp).
Unknown temple with the cemetery in Taito City (special ward located in Tokyo Metropolis).
Do you see the sticker “No photo” in the right corner? When I was shooting this picture someone who works in this place ran out the restaurant and started yelling at me. It was an embarrassing and little bit funny because I didn’t understand a word.
The family business.
The bicycle two-level parking.
Almost the real samurai.
Koi (jp. “carp”) are colored varieties of Amur carp that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens. Koi fish are associated with positive imagery. Because of the dragon legend, they are known as symbols of strength and perseverance, as seen in their determinative struggle upstream. And because of the lone koi that made it to the top of the waterfall, they are also known as symbols of a destiny fulfilled. Resulting from its bravery in swimming upstream, the koi is oftentimes associated with Samurai Warriors.
Night in Asakusa district.