Names in this site follow the Japanese custom of family name first.

April 5, 2012

Haiku Stones: Kannon's tiled roof (Basho, Asakusa)

Sensoji is very rich in haiku stones - so much that there is even one more haiku by Basho about blossom clouds of blooming cherries.

It is a sort of sequel to the "Blossom clouds" haiku, where Basho was only listening, drunk with blossoms. Now he is looking and there, above the clouds of cherry blossoms, he sees the impressive tiled roof of the great Kannon Temple in Asakusa, Sensoji...

This poem has been engraved on a haiku stone standing to the left of the short flight of stairs leading to the Benten Shrine.

[Kannon's tiled roof - Main hall of Sensoji, Asakusa]

Kannon's tiled roof
is seen far away
blossom clouds

Kannon no | iraka miyaritsu | hana no kumo 

Location: Sensoji can be reached by either the Ginza or Asakusa subway line; the temple grounds start at the famous Onarimon, only a few minutes from the exits of both subway stations. When approaching the temple, after walking through the shop-lined Nakamise-dori Street leading from the Onarimon to the temple, one reaches the huge Hozo-mon, or Treasury Gate. Benten-yama is a small hill at the back of grounds to the right of this gate and is crowned by a temple hall dedicated to Benten, the Goddess of Music. Admission free.