Gosho Jinja Shrine
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Gosho Jinja enshrines the patron deities of my neighborhood, Zaimokuza. Plural because the shrine is an amalgamation of five shrines which was mandated by the Meiji government in 1908. The name Gosho translates to “five locations.” The patron deity of … Read More

Komyoji Temple
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Every morning I wake up to the sound of the Komyoji temple bell. Back in my single days, when I wasn’t sure if I would ever find my life partner, I even made a senryuu (informal haiku) wondering if I … Read More

Hikosan Jingu Shrine
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Located on the border between Fukuoka and Oita Prefectures the Hiko Mountain is truly a sight to behold. Halfway up the mountain you will find the Hiko-san jingu . Hikosan jingu  is best known as a center of training for the Shugen-do sect … Read More

Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine
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As a resident of Kamakura, it would be remiss of me not to talk about Tsurugaoka Hachiman as the first of a series of articles about Kamakura. This shrine is the abode of the patron deity of the Minamoto Clan … Read More

From Buddha to Bullets: The history of Ueno Daibutsu
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Located at the top of a small hill in Ueno Park is Ueno Daibutsu. Consisting of an intricate Buddhist pagoda and a shrine with statue of a Buddhas head, although monument might be small it has a large and incredible … Read More

The History of Ueno Park
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Built on a hill close to Ueno Station in Tokyo is Ueno Park. Founded in May 1876, Ueno Park is often considered the first public park in Japan, since then it has developed as a center for celebrating culture and … Read More

Oharae
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  Twice a year on the last day of June and December, Shinto shrines participate in a ceremony called Oharae. During the Oharae, the Torii pathway leading to the shrine is transformed with hundreds of people attending this ritual. The … Read More

Nogi shrine
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The Nogi shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Akasaka. It was founded in 1937 to honor Nogi Maresuke and his wife Shizuko. Nogi was a top general of the Japanese Imperial Army who fought through numerous wars, namely the … Read More

The 5 Must Sees at Sensō-ji
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Located in Asakusa, part of Taito-ku, Tokyo, lies Sensō-ji, the oldest temple in Tokyo. Sensō-ji is a Buddhist temple that is currently one of the most popular places to visit in Tokyo with over 30 million visitors a year. Just take … Read More

The Reason Behind the Red Bibs
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If you have visited any temple or shrine in Japan, there is a good chance you have seen a statue wearing a red hat or red bib. One of the most frequent questions I have received about shrines and temples is, … Read More

The 5 Things you Should Know Before Visiting a Temple
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Make sure to step over the threshold: Each temple has a wooden section of the floor right before the temple. This section of wood is known as the threshold. The threshold forms a boundary. Positioned between the posts, lintel and … Read More

The 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Visit a Shrine
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No trip to Japan is complete with out a visit to at least one shrine. However, visiting a shrine can at times be a little overwhelming. Here are five essential tips to get the most out of your visit to … Read More

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