Asakusa   浅草

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The Port of Thunder, Kaminari-mon, marks the entrance to the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa (Tokyo).

The Port of Thunder, Kaminari-mon, marks the entrance to the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa (Tokyo).

Along the shopping arcades of Asakusa, the uninterrupted crowd sustains the neighborhood.

Along the shopping arcades of Asakusa, the uninterrupted crowd sustains the neighborhood.

A Asakusa (Tokyo), vendors of all kinds offer culinary products and souvenirs for the crowd.

A Asakusa (Tokyo), vendors of all kinds offer culinary products and souvenirs for the crowd.

In addition to its traditional side, Asakusa in Tokyo life as with festivals.

In addition to its traditional side, Asakusa in Tokyo life as with festivals.

The beating heart of the lower city

"Cloud of cherry blossoms!
A bell! That of Ueno?
That of Asakusa "(Basho)

In one of the last working class neighborhoods of the capital, people from the provinces go out to enjoy themselves, tourists and people of Tokyo do their shopping before heading to the great Sensoji Temple, having passed the gate of thunder(Kaminari-mon). Welcome to Asakusa!

  Kawabata's Asakusa

"Asakusa! ... universal Asakusa! All sorts of living things come out of there. It shows bare, all throbbing desires. It is a huge flood of various types and classes of men. At dawn or dusk, is an unfathomable and endless stream: Asakusa is alive ... A huge dense crowd parades by.  This district forged in an old mold belongs to the crowd and is completely transformed". An impression of the Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972).

Along the shopping arcade, a fine example of over-exploitation of tourism, along the long main alley vendors of cakes, including savory rice crackers prepared on the grill and souvenirs, shout out to passersby, who are in search of seeking omiyage (gifts to offer when returning from a trip). For centuries, this secular ritual has continued to delight visitors. Following this nice preamble,the people in front of the Sensoji, hold incense spirals, which are said to protect and bring good fortune.Its suave vapors calm the mind. Its fragrance encourages individuals to embrace the emptiness of the world.

Asakusa the reveller

As for festivities, in the month of May, the Sanja Matsuri creates a contagious excitement. In August, the Asakusa Samba Festival dresses up Asakusa as beautiful Rio. The rest of the year, in the adjacent streets, you can here the banter old gamblers, cigarette in mouth, seated watching TV screens in the hope of winning, a taste of daily life that is slowly disappearing. And then there is the he Sumida Feast synonymous with dazzling fireworks, and the banks of the river, famous for its cherry blossoms in spring and conducive to walking.

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