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

Namiyoke Inari (Shrine)
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Tucked away right next door to one of Tokyo’s biggest and busiest tourist attractions lies the Namiyoke Inari Shrine. This shrine is located in the Tsukiji prefecture, about one block away from the Tsukiji fish market. Although the shrine may … Read More

How the Tourism Boom is Causing Japan to Change its Controversial Symbol for Temples
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The other day while finding temples to add to our interactive map, I noticed something strange. I kept noticing the same symbol continuously popping up. This symbol was the manji, or as it is more commonly known, the swastika. Before World … Read More

My First Experience With Zazen: A Day at the Sojiji Temple
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Earlier this week, I hopped aboard a train to Yokohoma and headed to Sojiji temple. It was here that I had the incredible opportunity to take place in Zazen, led by the Soto Zen monks of the temple. When I … Read More

A Place of Great History and Incredible Beauty: An Exploration of the Ikegami Honmonji Temple
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The Ikegami Honmonji Temple is located in the middle of the busy Tokyo city. If you don’t know what you’re looking for you could definitely miss it. However, once you pass through the somon and see the large set of … Read More

Sanja Matsuri Festival
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Each year on the third weekend of May Asakusa Tokyo becomes one of the largest and craziest festivals in all of Japan. For 3 days the streets of Asakusa prefecture of Tokyo become flooded with people. The sounds of chanting, … Read More

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