Temple cleanse

There are many rules on how to properly conduct yourself when visiting a temple or shrine. I'm going to let this link explain it to you in detail.

I tried my very best to abide by the rules and customs when I visited temples/shrines. This is me in Asakusa trying the purification fountain. You can find different types of fountains in each temples. I tried my best to photograph most of them which I will show you in another post.
At the purification fountain near the shrine's entrance, take one of the ladles provided, fill it with fresh water and rinse both hands. Then transfer some water into your cupped hand, rinse your mouth and spit the water beside the fountain. You are not supposed to transfer the water directly from the ladle into your mouth or swallow the water. You will notice that quite a few visitors skip the mouth rinsing part or the purification ritual altogether.
Pictures are also shown so you can follow along.  I loved the whole experience!

P.S. I washed my hands but I did not drink the water ;)

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The annual Distillery District Christmas Market

The annual Distillery District Christmas Market opened in 2011. You can read my post about it here. Every year, it's getting bigger and bigger. It's becoming a tourist draw and I can see why it's been attracting crowds every year. The venue of course is historic and it has a lot of old world charm inside the Distillery District.  It's full of christmas vendors selling food, christmas gifts, and treats. Not to mention the permanent shops in the Distillery that sells clothing, beauty products, houseware, art, chocolates, etc. 

We went on a Tuesday night to avoid the weekend rush. It was raining slightly. It was not crowded so we had a lot of space to roam around. The restaurants were full though and the choices are boundless but we already had dinner so we just poked around to see what's going on. You can also enjoy drinks outside the beer garden. 

We visited Soma Chocolatier.  I ended up purchasing the dark peruvian chocolate with sea salt and the Grenada Chocolate Company chocolate. I'm usually a milk chocolate girl but lately, I've been eating more and more dark chocolates. Both were yummy btw. 

One of the biggest draw is of course the giant Christmas tree that greets you when you enter the district. It's roughly 40 feet tall! 

I can't believe it's only 10 days to go before Christmas. I hope you got your shopping done! I can't wait for the holidays!

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Tokuyo: Asakusa part II

Toronto is currently getting a whole lot of snow today. My commute was long this morning. It's looks so pretty with the snow but hell for any commuters today. I was in my own world during my commute - I listened to music and thought about Japan. I've been thinking of Japan all the time lately so it's only fitting that I post more of my trip. 

Part I of Asakusa can be found here. We found a quieter part of Asakusa just by walking a couple of meters off the main temple. The smaller temples are less crowded and more peaceful. The garden was so pretty! Definitely my favourite part!

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Tokyo: Asakusa Part I

Kaminarimon (Kaminari Gate)
Nakamise Shopping Street - lots of souvenirs for sale
Sensoji Temple
We woke up bright and early on a Saturday to go to Asakusa. I was excited! But I was not prepared for the surge of crowd there. We should have went Friday instead of the weekend but we had no choice. We were leaving Tokyo the next day. 

We braved the crowd in Asakusa. It was packed! And instead of walking in the middle of the busy street full of stores and tourists - we used the side streets. It was much easier and less crowded.

We visited several temples and it was crazy packed. I barely managed to escape the throngs of people while throwing coins in front of the shrine. It was worth it! 

Maybe next time, I will try to come here on a weekday and hopefully it won't be as busy.

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