Something I failed to mention in my last post about Sensō-ji is that one of the coolest things to do there is to get a paper fortune, or an " #omikuji".
📜✨📜Paper fortunes are distributed out of what has cheekily been described as an "analogue vending machine"-- put 100 Yen in the slot and you're then given a canister of numbered sticks from which you draw a random one. The numbers are in Kanji, but as long as you match up the symbols on your stick with the symbols on the drawers, you'll find the drawer that contains your fortune, which is thankfully written in English AND Japanese. I drew No. 85, which is called "The Best Fortune"-- you can see details of it close up on my Instagram story. I was very flattered and psyched by the name and what it said. Apparently, I will "gradually become famous and peaceful", my wishes will be realized, and I should take a chill pill and not be so anxious. Sounds about right! (/Fingers crossed on the famous and peaceful part, Haha ☺️🙏) Word has it that many of the fortunes can be harsh because these are not fortune cookie platitudes. People that get bad readings are advised to tie the paper in a knot on the nearby rack and ask the gods for better luck next time... There is a net-like apparatus in the front of the shrine where people have hung their bad luck, and apparently there's a LOT of it. One of the sentences on my fortune said: "Your way goes to the Paradise of the Saints and you can live long at ease." That's a weirdly-worded translation, but very beautiful, indeed.