Sunday, 25 September 2011

Asakusa and White Tabi

During the week, I'm a kaisha-in (a Japanese company employee) of sorts...but in the weekend, I'm a student of Japanese language, Japanese Theatre, and a delighted and ambitious tourist!

Last saturday, after my inaugural Tokyo Noh Theatre class, I found myself if Asakusa looking for tabi boots - posh white socks which you have to wear to either practise or perform Noh. I'm delighted that I'll be doing both while I'm here, so I needed to suit up.

They don't look like much on the peg, but here they are on the heavenly maiden I'm going to (attempt to) dance next month:

When I got to Asakusa though, I passed Senso-Ji Temple, the biggest buddhist temple in the city, right outside the tube station. I forgot all about tabi and wandered in through the impressive, crowd-packed front gate

I passed under some of the biggest Japanese lanterns I've ever seen

before you begin the long walk down tourist tat street to the temple itself

I thought the view from outside was quite impressive

But the view from inside was more atmospheric, if you ignored the sounds of the olde worlde amusement park you could see out of the temple's biggest and most impressive door (!)

But what about those tabi? I needed some for practice the next morning and by the time I'd finished looking round the temple it was almost shop closing time. Luckily for me, this is the 'traditional crafts and culture' bit of Tokyo, so without even really looking for it, I found a shop selling white tabi for under a tenner. 

Now I have all the kit for my Noh Debut! 

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