Sensoji Temple

Tokyo’s oldest temple (approx. 628 A.D., rebuilt in 1958 after being destroyed in WWII); legend states that the gold statue of the goddess Kannon was fished out of a nearby river and that the temple was built to house the statue which is reputed to still be housed in the temple; shops and colorful stalls line the street leading up to the temple and crowds throng the incense stands, asking for Kannon to grant favors

For a few yen you can do the Japanese fortune thing. Basically you pull what looks like a chopstick out of a big tin can, then you match a symbol on the chopstick to a symbol on a bank of wooden drawers. There are monks on hand to help you with the translation (actually, they hand you a translation book and you’re on your own to search for the proper translation).

My wife tried this first. We probably should have been content to save the fortune as a souvenir. When we finally found the translation, it was bad . . . very bad. Summary: Bad marriage, bad job, bad travel. That would just about cover everything, wouldn’t it?

Fortunately there is a procedure for negating bad fortunes (which is what she immediately did). You tie the fortune to a nearby tree. Or a metal structure that represents a tree (conveniently provided by those thoughtful monks).

After tying her fortune to a tree she tried again. Prognosis: Regular Fortune. Regular marriage, regular job, regular travel.

That was good enough for me. We quit while we were ahead and moved on.