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How many gates?

Fri, Oct 23, 20

Hello shoppers!
I'm U from the Asakusa store. It is my first time contributing to this project.

Today's topic is about the area our store is located, Asakusa.

If I ask people, what comes to their mind when you hear the word 'Asakusa,' I think the majority of them will answer with "the gate with the big lantern."
The gate is a part of the Sensoji temple.
However, did you know there are two other gates?

This iconic gate is called "Kaminarimon Gate," also known as "Fujin-Raijin mon."
Even though it's been quiet due to the Covid, it used to be surrounded by hundreds of people taking photos all day.
There are Fujin(The god of wind) and Raijin (The god of thunder) standing on the front side of the gate. On the opposite side, there are two gods of dragon called Tenryu and Kinryu. Also, at the bottom of the lantern, there is a wooden carved dragon.
During the festival called "Sanja Matsuri," the lantern is folded so that portable shrines can go through under the gate.

After walking along the nakamise shopping street for a few minutes, you'll see another gate with the lantern.
It's called Hohzomon gate(also known as Nioh gate).
Two guardian gods are standing on the front side.
There are two large straw sandals on the other side.
It is the actual shoe size of said gods. The legend says when the evil tries to enter the temple, it immediately runs away after seeing the sandals.

The last one is called "Niten-mon."
It is the smallest gate out of the three.
It is located on the east side of the temple.
You'll also walk past "Asakusa Shrine." The shrine is the home of "Sanja Matsuri."

By the way, my favorite time of the day to explore Sensoji is during night time.
The stores and the temple are closed, but the precinct is open for 24 hours.
Gates and some buildings are illuminated, which is very photogenic.
Since there are fewer people around, it's very quiet. The atmosphere feels very mysterious. I love it.

Well, I think it's time for me to go...
See you next time!

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