July 10, 2013

0731 JAPAN (Kantō) - Kaminarimon, the outer gate of Sensō-ji, in Tokyo

The Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) is the outer of the two large entrance gates that leads to the Sensō-ji, an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo, actually Tokyo's oldest temple. It was first built in 941, near to Komagata, but it was reconstructed in its current location in 1635. The gate has been destroyed many times, in 1639, 1757, and 1865, each time being, of course, reconstructed. Its current structure dates from 1960.

On the front of the gate are displayed  the statues of the Shinto gods Fūjin (the god of wind) on the east side, and Raijin (the god of thunder), on the west side. On the reverse of the gate are the Buddhist god Tenryū, and the goddess Kinryū. In the center of the Kaminarimon, under the gate, hangs a giant red chōchin that is 4m tall, 3.4m in circumference and weighs 670kg.

About the stamp

The stamp, depicting also Kaminarimon, is part of the series Travel Scenes Series Number 15  - Tokyo, Ueno / Asakusa and Sumidagawa Area, issued on April 23, 2012, designed by Maruyama Satoru and consisting of ten stamps with the same face value, 80 JPY:
• Giant Panda Ri Ri (Ueno Zoological Gardens)
• Giant Panda Shin Shin (Ueno Zoological Gardens)
• Shinobazu Pond (Ueno-onshi-koen Park) 1
• Shinobazu Pond (Ueno-onshi-koen Park) 2
• Kaminarimon (Senso-ji Temple, Asakusa) - it's on this postcard
• Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa)
• Sumida River 1
• Sumida River 2
• Sumida Park
• Sumida River Fireworks Festival - it's on other postcard
Kaminarimon - Wikipedia

sender: Akiko Watanabe (direct swap)
sent from ? (Japan), on 07.05.2012

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