Tendrils of smoke curl and float past scarlet pillars. Fingers fold white paper into prayers. Heads bow, hands wash in water, and the soft, sonorous chime of a gong, flecked with gold, reverberates through the crowd.
This is the Asakusa Shrine, or Sanja-Sama (the shrine of the three gods,) in the heart of pulsing Tokyo. And right around the corner, I found worship of a different kind.
Heads bowed, sirens blazing, flickering lights in fuchsia and fluorescence.
This is the whir and buzz, the whizz and blaze of Pachinko: a Japanese pinball arcade where silence is forbidden and tranquillity long since forgotten.