The Giant Sandals of Sensoji

A pair of giant woven sandals hang on the back of Sensoji’s hozomon (main entrance gate). The sandals, or o-waraji, measure 4.5 meters tall and weigh 2500 kg (over 500 pounds) apiece.


The sandals are considered “kami-sized,” and symbolize the power of the nio guardians (deities who guard the hozomon, as well as the temple) whose statues sit in the bays on the other side of the hozomon:


It takes 800 people to construct the sandals, and the town of Murayama donates a new pair of o-waraji to Sensoji every decade (and has done so since the 1940s)


People apparently touch the o-waraji in hopes of gaining powerful walking skills, and the ability to walk long distances without tiring. Sadly, I’m too short to reach them, but apparently it’s enough to simply look (and take photos) because I walked many miles farther than usual on my research trip, and didn’t stumble, slip, or tire beyond what my feet could bear.