A way out

Like many temples, businesses hugged the outskirts of Senso-ji’s temple grounds. In one direction was an arcade where I spotted small containers of sake, but I headed towards the main gate.

Lines of shops towards Senso-ji Temple
Lines of shops along Senso-ji Temple’s entrance, Tokyo

At times it was impossible to make my way out through Kaminari-mon gate. A pathway to the entrance/exit, lined with shops was congested with potential buyers. When I finally arrived at the gate, no one moved. The noise of hundreds of voices filled the air. No wonder the gate was also called thunder gate.

Kaminari-mon gate, Senso-ji Temple. Asakusa
Kaminari-mon gate, Asakusa, Tokyo

It wasn’t about purchases. The gridlock was about that ever important photo before visitors entered the site. Two gods flanked either side of the entrance — Fujin and Raijin. Between them a huge paper lantern with the character for thunder hung above. I had to squeeze my way out to escape the stagnant crowd as well as the ubiquitous smell of incense.

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