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temples and towers.

I’m not one for crowds, but sometimes you just have to see something. I wanted to visit at least one temple in Japan because they are a big part of the culture (and also because I wanted a goshuin temple book!) and at least one trip to the top of a tower to get panoramic views of Tokyo.

We visited the Sensoji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo. The buildings are massive, and so are the crowds.

I enjoyed admiring all the architectural details and taking in the history. Plus, learning about temple traditions, like the chozuya where you purify yourself with a water ceremony before approaching a shrine.

My favorite part though was finding where they stamp your temple books and getting my first stamp! Each temple or shrine has their own custom mark. At Sensoji Temple they take your book to the back for stamping. Mysterious…

The only other temple we visited was in Nagano. We passed through the Zenko-ji Temple en route from sakuras to miso ice cream. We weren’t planning to visit, but then I spotted the stamping area! This time, I got to watch them add the stamps to my book. I was so excited, the lady probably thought oh tourist…. It really is an art though, and I love it! And check out this ink and stamp tray.

As we explored Toyko, we noticed some really tall structures. I learned that this is the Toyko Skytree. It’s the tallest structure in Tokyo. You can venture your way to the top for views of the city.

And this is the Tokyo Tower. We decided to visit the Tower because it was walking distance from our Tokyo home, and it looks Eiffel Tower-esque.

We paid extra for the tour that takes you to the very top. Do the extra thing!

Here we go! We were equipped with tour devices, we ‘met’ the developers in the library (the images in the photos talked!), and we were greeted with refreshing beverages before heading to the first viewing level.

At the first viewing level, I thought we were already at the top deck so I was less than impressed with paying extra. But then Hubby pointed me to the next elevator. Sweet! The views at the top were impressive; it was a beautiful, clear day. And Hubby spotted a tennis court. 🙂

I’m excited for future trips to Japan to take in more sites and to collect more temple stamps! Gotta catch ’em all!

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