Today was our last full day here in Japan so to make the most of it we headed back into the city to see a few more key areas of the city. Our first stop was Asakusa, a well known tourist area. It is one of the older districts of Tokyo and home to Senso-ji, the oldest temple in Tokyo and one of the largest.
Every time I visit Senso-ji, i’m reminded of the temple in Jerusalem and the parallels between the two. Upon entering the temple gates, you proceed down a long shopping street full of all kinds of street food, souvenirs, and religious talismans that leads to the temple courtyard. In the courtyard various rituals of purification are performed by people before they enter the temple. Many people also purchase fortunes and prayer charms here too. Once in the temple there are hundreds of people offering money and lifting up prayers, occasionally accompanied by the chants of the buddhist monks. A powerful scene indeed and one that I prayed would stick with these guys as they head back to America to share of the need for the gospel in Japan.
After Asakusa we headed to Akihabara for dinner. Akihabara is home to a different kind of worship. It is the nerd mecca of Japan. Everything from video games, anime, electronics, and even porn can be found here in droves. People travel from all over Japan to visit the various temples (read stores) of their preferred sub-culture. While some idolatry is blatantly obvious to see, such as the rampant materialism, other things are harder to translate like the abundance of maid-cafes and idol groups like AKB48.
Though both districts are very different in appearance the dichotomy between them is small when the truth of gospel is applied to each. The need for more churches to be planted in this city is extremely urgent. Would you consider how you might take part in the mission of God to see to the gospel reach to all parts of this great nation.