Follow the Sumida River southwest from Asakusa and you’ll soon reach Kuramae, an old working-class neighborhood filled with small factories, wholesale shops and temples. The area is changing, though, with single origin coffee roasters and stores selling imported pottery sprouting up next to mom-and-pop stores selling tofu and sake.

Head away from the river, down a side street and you’ll come across Chohouin Temple. On first glance, it doesn’t stand out much from the other temples in the area. However, Chohouin is different. The head priest there is 58-year-old Akiyoshi Taniguchi, a monk who also runs a small gallery on the premises called Kurenboh.

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