After walking through the Imperial Palace grounds, I took the Tokyo subway up to Asakusa and the Sensō-ji Temple. It’s a Buddhist temple and the oldest in Tokyo. The first temple on this site was constructed in 645 AD. The temple was destroyed during World War II but has since been rebuilt and represents rebirth and peace.
To one side of the temple, there are gardens with koi ponds. I found this little bubble of quiet incredibly peaceful after the bustle and press of the subway and the crowds at the temple.
I visited a lot of Buddhist temples in Thailand, but I was struck by how different the colours and symbolism were in Japan. The colours were much bolder: blacks and oranges or reds, and each space had prominent gates at various points throughout the complex. I wonder if this is the Shinto influence or simply a Japanese preference.
Check back tomorrow for more pictures from the Asakusa area.
Title quote: Alan Macfarlane, Japan Through the Looking Glass