Today’s Ride to “Church” (=Sensoji Temple) comes to us from Emily:
In May of this year, I had the opportunity to take a group of five 8th grade students on a trip to our sister school in Kagoshima, Japan. I couldn’t help but make a stop in Tokyo for a few days to discover the beauty of such a famous city. The very first thing we did there was to visit Sensoji Temple. It is the heart of Asakusa, which is sort of like a “suburb” of Tokyo. With jet lag, five excited teenagers, a novice guide, and what seemed like a million other people, my first glimpse of Sensoji Temple made me feel as though I were attending a fair, not a place of worship. However, as the girls and I walked around the extensive grounds, saw people standing in awe, watched people pray to the gods, and absorbed the spirit of the place, my feeling changed. As we traveled through the temple, my heart filled and I was able to feel power, love, peace, and beauty.
After seeing the main temple, we were invited into one of the smaller temples, where we were invited to pay a “tithe,” take off our shoes, step behind the glass wall, and admire the statues of the gods. We were not allowed to take pictures, but I still remember many of the statues. They were beautiful women and my girls and I were awed to see the reverence of those there for worship. We were filled with admiration for this religion and the beauty of this faith.
After taking a ride to church in Asakusa, Japan, I was somewhat amazed to notice similarities between a Buddhist temple and a Christian church. I hope that after taking a ride to church with me, you will see the beauty of this religion and this region as well.
Disclaimer: If any information in this is incorrect, I (Emily Miller) take full credit.