Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sunsoji Temple

After we left Yoyogi Park, we made our way via JR line and the subway to Sunsoji Temple. Wet entered Sunsoji through the Kaminarimon, the thunder gate, and proceed down a two hundred meter shop lined street known as the Nakamise.
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While the Nakamise was closed to auto traffic, it was packed with people.  We decided to skip shopping on our way in, and found a parallel side street that was much less crowded.  Proceeding through the Hozomon gate, we entered the main temple complex.  A five story pagoda and the Asakusa Shrine are also in the main temple area.
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We explored the area around Sunsoji Temple for a while, finding more shrines and side streets with shopping.  One of the highlights was a shopkeeper wearing traditional Japanese clothing who was selling wooden toys.  He was teaching a tourist how play a game involving a wooden ball attached by a string to a small wooden mallet with concave heads.  The object of the game was to catch the ball on the cupped part of the hammer.  We stopped to watch, and soon Jacob and then Aleena were trying their hand at the game.  The merchant's son arrived, and he and Jacob played a game where they tried to knock each other's wooden ball off the mallet.

It is amazing what a little marketing and enthusiasm can do, as we ended up buying three or four things at his shop. We had walked by dozens of shops that sold the same kind of wooden toys but never stopped.

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We stopped for a very uninspired dinner at a restaurant not far from our hotel in Shinjuku.  Like most restaurants that I have eaten at in Asia, they serve the meals as are ready instead of timing them all to be finished at once.  This works fine when you are sharing dishes family style, but I think it doesn't work so well when you are having individual dishes. This is particularly true when the waitress does not write down part of the order, as happened on this night.  She did not write down Jacob's order, but we didn't know for certain until everyone else was nearly finished.  Jacob and I waited for his lamb chop while the girls returned to the hotel.  While he said that it was delicious, I don't think that there was more than two or three ounces of meat on this cut.

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