In January 2011, I was on a long-haul flight from Tokyo to London. In the middle of a rather uncomfortable 12-hour journey in economy class, I was scanning through the airline magazine, just for the sake of killing a few minutes out of those 12 hours. I did not expect to find something which I would actually like to read, but surprisingly the article entitled “Temple Attraction” caught my attention. It started with the sentence: “The days when a temple visit was a strictly solemn affair appear to be over, as Japan’s ubiquitous places of Buddhist worship open their gates to market traders and even yoga enthusiasts” (Skyward, January 2011, p. 4).
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