Tokyo temples

Japanese temples were always a symbol of something greater than life, some profound truth that comes from the far east, a zen spiritual perfection. Not only for me, but for whole generations the east and it’s religion was a mysterious legend of the unknown.

I did not arrive to Tokyo ‘fresh out fo the box’ and I have been traveling for over a decade around asia, seeing all sortos of temples and shrines, photographing and documenting as I go along, and this made me worry a bit as I landed in japan, worried that maybe it is too late for me to enjoy that first magic of walking through the Japanese versions of temple life.

I was pleasantly relieved two seconds after walking into the first temple I stumbled upon. Yes, still works. Maybe it is the silence, maybe it is the cleanliness and the perfect order of things, maybe just the fact they really do take themselves oh so seriously when it comes to rituals or maybe just because it works, and this is what a temple is supposed to do for you and to you.

There are many different religions that have made their home in the Japanese islands, and although they are similar in a lot of aspects, each one has very unique characteristics and symbolism, each one had its purpose in every day life and all seem to live side by side without any real conflict, Buddhism, zen, Shinto, even a church here and there, but we really don’t want to go to this direction.

 

 
 

I always preferred the small neighborhood shrines, as they seem more authentic and less touristy , but I do have to say that seeing a wedding ceremony in the main temple and walking through the tranquil woods surrounding it, with small streams and bridges, tea huts and benches under old trees, it does feel majestic, and if you are lucky and there are not too many tourists around you can hear the old generations chatting in your history as they share a cup of green tea in the garden.

One of the things I appreciate in the temples I visited is the wood. I am a simple man, put me in a structure made of wood and I am happy. Well, happier than in cement or glass. Make it old wood carved and perfectly designed , and my happiness doubles.

And they are indeed spectacular, these shrines and temples, not in a flashy way like the south eastern ones, with thais putting millions of small mirrors as décor, and Indians using every possible color imagineable, no, in a subtle and very Japanese way, very simple and sophisticated, designed without a flaw and minimalistic to a fault. This is design.

If there is something I miss about Tokyo is the temples. A nice afternoon well spent in a temple or two, just walking around, or sitting for a while, is good for the spirit and recharges the batteries before going back to the hustle and bustle of the city life.

 

 
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                     
Israel Thailand Cambodia Vietnam China Singapore Turkey Laos Tokyo Hong-kong
 
Jerusalem
Tel-aviv
Jaffa
Faces
 
Special projects
Ancient city
Street food
Skytrain views
Faces of Israel
Bangkok
Chiang-mai
Lopburi
Islands
Elephants
Chao-Praya
Klong-Toi market
Jatujak market
Floating market
Songkran
Vegeterian

Angkor wat
Siem-Reap
Phnom-Penh
Tonle-sap
hanoi
Halong bay
Shanghai
Beijing
Tongli
Temples
Market
Art-scene

Classic
Singapore
Indian temple
Botanics
Museum
Istanbul
Grand bazzar

Vientiene Life
Nightlife
Fashion
Temples
Sakura

Food
Life
Architecture
(c) 2013 - All material, photographic and written,in this site is the property of Boaz Zippor
and is not to be copied or distributed in any form without a written permission. 
boaz@boazzippor.net    boaz.zippor@gmail.com    +66 851 60 40 32