Kyoto is not the only place where there are shrines and temples to experience the Japanese atmosphere. Let us introduce 10 shrines that are a must see when you come to Tokyo.
1 - Hie Shrine
Hie Shrine is in Nagatacho, the heart of the Japanese government. People say that this shrine offers good luck for business prosperity and the future of a company. This is why politicians and businessmen visit it one after another. In old days, it played the role of guarding the Edo Castle. Since the monkey is the divine messenger of Hie Shrine, stone statues of monkeys are enshrined to the left and right of the worship hall.
2 - Tomioka Hachiman Shrine
This shrine was built in 1627. "Fukagawa Hachiman Festival" held in mid-August has a history of more than 350 years. Every Sunday except for the 3rd, an antique market is held which is visited by a lot of people.
3 - Meiji Shrine
This is the shrine where the Emperor Meiji and the Empress Shoken are enshrined. On the vast site of 700,000 square meters, there is a rich green forest of about 100,000 trees offered from all over Japan, where you can enjoy the nature of the four seasons. Over 3 million people visit the shrine on January 1 to 3 every year, which is the largest number in Japan.
4 - Kanda Myojin Shrine
Kanda Myojin Shrine is within walking distance from Akihabara, the Electric Town popular among tourists. It is an old shrine with a history of about 1300 years. Since warlords prayed for their victory at this shrine and carried out the unification of Japan, people say it brings luck to games and sports. Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Japan's electronics manufacturers "Panasonic" also continued to worship at this shrine.
5 - Suitengu Shrine
This shrine has been worshiped as the god bestowing safe delivery and children for a long time. "Misuzuobi (baby protecting band)" is a pure cotton cloth of unbleached color for pregnant women to wrap around their stomach to help gently support and protect their babies, taking advantage of the old-fashioned natural texture. In the spring of 2016, it was relocated for renovation.
6 - Ueno Toshogu Shrine
This shrine is at the corner of Ueno Park, enshrining warlords that opened the Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled Japan for 400 years. It has various things to see such as a stone torii gate which was designated as an important cultural property, grand lanterns lining the approach, and the golden shrine.
9-88, Uenokouen, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007
Ueno Station （Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Tohoku Main Line / JR Utsunomiya Line / JR Takasaki Line / JR Joban Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line）
5 minutes on foot
- Phone Number 03-3822-3455
- Address 9-88, Uenokouen, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007
7 - Nezu Shrine
A shrine of gods that appears in the mythology of Japan, with a history of 1900 years. Seven buildings on the grounds of the shrine are designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan. You can go through "Senbon (thousand) torii", where bright red torii continue like a tunnel.
8 - Akasaka Hikawa Shrine
This shrine has been worshiped as a shrine of good marriage since old days because a god of married couples and cupid god are enshrined. The shrine built by Tokugawa 8th Shogun Yoshimune has remained from the Edo period, and is designated as a cultural property. While it is in Akasaka, the center of Tokyo, there is plenty of nature including a large ginkgo tree of more than 400 years old.
9 - Asakusa Shrine
Asakusa Shrine is the shrine where the three people involved in the founding of Sensoji Temple are enshrined as Gods. "Sanja Matsuri" is a big festival held in May, where 100 portable shrines move through the town of Asakusa. It is popular as a festival where you can feel the atmosphere of Edo. Every year about 1.5 million people come to see it.
10 - Hanazono Shrine
Hanazono Shrine is in Shinjuku, downtown Tokyo. A festival called "Torinoichi (Cock Market)" is held in November every year. It is crowded with about 600,000 people. Stalls stand in line, some deal in "Kazarikumade (decorated rake)" a lucky item of prospering business, and others sell food. It is so heated that you don't feel the coldness of winter.