Incense and Prayers at Sensoji Temple, Tokyo, Japan

Burning incense and saying a prayer at the Sensoji temple for everyone. I figured out how to do it, though I forgot to “Bi-sun” as my mom would call it, where you prayer and hold the incense in front of you and bow three times. She would do that in reverence to our ancestors, which were her parents. We saw others say their prayers in their own style, different ways; Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean.

You can purchase for 100 Yen a bundle of incense, called Osenko, from a vendor to the right of the big incense urn. The symbols on the incense are actually the religious symbol of Buddhism.

The urn, called a Jokoro, is a huge clay pot that you can place your lit incense in for your prayer. It is filled with the ashes of previously burnt incense and is so full you can easily put in your incense stick standing up to burn. Be careful of the other burning sticks, it’s very hot!

The practice is to light your incense stick in a hot burner placed there to light them. You then wave it to extinguish the flame instead of blowing it out (I didn’t do that right, I blew mine out:).

To pray you are supposed to hold the stick at forehead height with two hands and bow three times. My prayers were said for everyone watching this video and for friends, fans and followers/subscribers.

Then the belief is that wafting the smoke over a part of your body will heal it and so if you waft it onto your head you’ll become smarter.