Koenji(temple)
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Have you ever heard of the town of Koenji in Japan? If so, what does it bring to mind? If you were to ask Japanese people, Koenji would be described as a small town with many used clothing stores, secondhand … Read More

How to use Pokemon Go at shrines and temples
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The world has been taken by storm by one of Japan’s most famous franchises, Pokemon. In several countries all over the planet, people of all ages are running around with their smartphones open attempting to catch wild Pokemon on their … Read More

What is Saisen?
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  When visiting a temple or shrine, you may notice a wooden box in front of the main hall. This is an offertory box, a box in which you can drop an offering to the deities of that temple or shrine. … Read More

Ontakejinja(Shrine)
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The main belief system of the Japanese people is called Shintoism.  Shinto is more than a religious faith. It is an amalgam of attitudes, ideas, and ways of doing things that through two millenniums have become an integral part of … Read More

What are Goshuin?
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               If you plan on visiting many temples and shrines in Japan, I recommend purchasing a goshuin first. The literal translation of ‘goshuin’ is “the honorable red stamp notebook.” For further explanation, the goshuin is a notebook made for collecting … Read More

Shiba Daijingu and Shiba Toshogu(Shrine)
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  Shiba Daijingu and Shiba Toshogu For those who do not speak Japanese, the names of shrines and temples can be very confusing. Some have several names and some sound similar to others. For example, Shiba Daijingu and Shiba Toshoyu. … Read More

Tokyo Daijingu(Shrine)
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              When visiting Tokyo, there are five major shrines in which to visit. These shrines are the Meiji Jingu, Yasukuni Jinja, Hie Jinja, Ohkunitama Jinja, and the Tokyo Daijingu. The Tokyo Daijingu is given the nickname “O-Ise-Sama in Tokyo” due … Read More

What are Tenmangu?
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One of the most famous names in Japanese history would be Sugawara no Michizane. This name is known all over Japan, thus considered as much of a household name as Ieyasu Tokugawa. Sugawara no Michizane is enshrined in hundreds of … Read More

Ana Inari(shrine)
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Toward the right side of the entrance to the Shinagawa Shrine is a long path of vermillion torii gates.  This pathway leads to the Ana Inari Shrine, which sits to the back right side of the Shinagawa Shrine. Passing through … Read More

Shinagawa(Shrine)
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              While it is common to find a shrine and a temple sharing the same property, it is also common to find more than one shrine occupying the same place. For foreigners, this can be somewhat confusing, especially because most … Read More

Why are Shinto Shrines Surrounded by Trees and Forests?
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   If you frequent Japanese Shinto shrines, you may have noticed that they are commonly placed in forests or are at least filled with many trees or other objects of nature. This is because the Shinto religion believes in “kami,” … Read More

Karasumori(shrine)
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              Unless you are from Japan, the area of Shinbashi is likely unknown to you. This is because the city is crowded to the brim with business offices, something that does not attract tourists. However, despite Shinbashi’s crowded business-world atmosphere, … Read More

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