Actually, Benten-do was the first real experience that told me that I was in Japan. Approaching the temple I was excited - this was going to be my very first REAL JAPANESE TEMPLE in Tokyo. I was excited to see inside. Only to be brought up short by an irate priest who, distressed at the typical foreigners (gaijin - or gaigoku-jin to be precise) bad manners. I had forgotten to remove my shoes, and my then-girlfriend had been too slow to warn me.
Here's a lesson - when approaching any threshold where there is a change of environment (inside or outside), look carefully if you are moving into a raised area. Often this is the signal that you are entering an "inner place" (my words) where shoes should be removed. Especially in a temple, this was bad karma! Gomen nasai! (sorry!)