There are two beautiful temples near Waseda station that we passed by everyday. The gates were always open during the day, but not the doors to the temples themselves. As with most Buddhist temples in Japan, the gardens within the vicinity are extremely well-kept and artfully arranged with strategic placements of stone carvings and native plants.
For some reason there didn't seem to be any human activity in the temples. The beautiful spot calls for some appreciation and photo-op moments, but there was a level of sacredness that kept me from prancing around the grounds in conspicuous manner. Contrast that to one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan, Senso-Ji where everyone is free to frolic about as they please. The absence of people elevates the temples from historic grounds into spiritual sites. My reluctance to invade the perceived holiness compelled me to remain at the entrance for these shots and be all hush hush when I walked in to take a few subdued ones.
Not my photograph, obviously
In many ways Dover Street Market in Ginza is the fashion equivalent to a temple of the highest order, a monolithic structure made of glass and steel. The moment one steps in, the purity of the white chambers washes over reminding us that we are not worthy. Solemnity abounds in the midst of hallowed artefacts, guarded by holy priests and priestesses who move stealthily and observe with hawk-like visions from camouflaged corners. These sought-after objects - strategically displayed in calculated order - have been crafted by the most esteemed creators going by the names of Thom, Rick and Ann, amongst many others. Their worthiness is decided by the elusive members of Kawakubo caucus.
The aloof yet egalitarian cult of Comme welcomes all to this temple of desires, as long as you don't take photographs. Move with grace, speak with care, because you would never know what you might break if you are glued to your device while walking. The faithfuls converse in hushed tones to respect the sanctity of the halls (and because Japan y'kno), except for a flock of nouveau worshippers from the neighbouring shores whose collective taste is limited to dull commonplace wares stamped with heart-shaped insignia. One doubts that they have received the memo.
At the uppermost chamber lies the beautiful Rose Bakery, where delicious food and beverages are plentiful. Unlike its London counterpart, this space does not skimp on ceiling height nor seating. Beyond the doors lies the bridge connecting the house of worship to an equally vast fashion mecca for the masses one calls Uniqlo (speaking of which has the 'Qlo-Maire stuff dropped yet?).
And just like the Buddhist temples, this place too has its own garden, complete with a small shrine. It is a tranquil spot that is perfect for respite and reflection, especially when one is contemplating whether one needs another pair of geobaskets in life.
Will it be cheaper to buy them here at tax-free price, or order them off Luisa via Roma?
Such is the decisions we must make in our existence. But at least one has that private green patch of contemplation where noone will judge nor know of your showrooming activities.
Wearing Issey Miyake cardigan; Romeo Gigli skirt; Alexander Wang x H&M bra; Yves Saint Laurent bag