New Year at Sensouji  

Saturday, 3 January 2009

We braved the crowds on Jan 1st to visit the Sensouji temple in Asakusa. Usually it's absolutely rammed over New Year so we were expecting a long wait- 1 or 2 hours - to get inside. But perhaps because we went later in the day,it was comparatively quiet and we sailed straight through. I hope a good omen for the coming year.

Sensouji occupies a special place in our relationship. The first pictures of Little M and Y I saw were taken here; M and I came here for special prayers to be said for us to be said at the start of our relationship, and we have tried to return every New Year since to make an offering and pray for health and happiness in the coming year.

Sensouji is an awesome place, in the true sense of the word; a centre of religion and culture nearly 1500 years. The original temple that stood here was destroyed by American bombs in the last war, but the modern structure is a completely convincing replica. There is a real sense of spiritual power about the place. Having prayers read for us by the abbot was one of the most memorable experiences of Japan, and I think one I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

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