• Georgie McGrath

Meeting Hariku at Senso-Jï

Updated: May 17, 2018

You may thinking pictured above is Hariku, but no... it really is just a man with a bunny head. Anywhere else in the world this would seize your attention, but this is just another example of the whacky and bizarre things you'll see in Japan.

​Sensory 浅草寺 is one of Tokyo's most popular and oldest Buddhist temples built in the year 645. It is located in Asakusa and is also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple. Before you reach the temple you enter through the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), you then pass through a 200 metre long chain of shops called Nakamise selling a range of Japanese souvenirs such as folding fans, traditional local snacks, kimonos... At the end, you walk through the final gate called Hozoman and behind, Senso Ji Temple stands before you.

This is when we met Hariku, a friendly Japanese man who spoke perfect English. He explained why people come to the temple like himself who had just finished work. Omikuji, a Japanese tradition in shrines and temples which predicts whether they will enjoy good or bad fortune in the year ahead. You drop ¥100 into the box and select a thin numbered stick from a container (pictured above). You then take a slip of paper from the drawer bearing the corresponding number. Daikyō (great bad luck) and Kyō(bad luck) to Kichi (good luck) and Daikichi (great good luck). The paper will also offer predictions such as health, study, love, family and relationships. A good fortune you are advised to take home and treasure, however a bad fortune (which is what I got) should be tied in a knot to inclose the bad fortune and hope it won't come true.

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