Kenchoji(temple)
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  The Kencho-ji Temple is the oldest Zen training monastery in Japan, and ranks first out of five temples that are called “Kamakura’s Five Mountain Zen Temples.” This temple was built in 1253, which was the fifth year of the Kencho … Read More

Taiyo no Marche(Market of the sun)
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        Every second weekend of the month, the Taiyo no Marche (or Market of the Sun) is held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Kachidoki. This event is quite similar to an American farmer’s market, consisting of several rows of booths, each booth … Read More

【2】Ryokan Sawanoya
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  The Ryokan Sawanoya is a traditional “ryokan,” which is a style of Japanese inn that dates back to the Edo period. This hotel has been open for decades and is completely family-run. The sweetest elderly couple maintain the inn and … Read More

Nezu Jinja shrine
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   The Nezu Shrine ranks amongst some of the oldest shrines in Japan and among the most beautiful shrines in Japan on my personal list. The shrine is close to Ueno Park and is situated on a relatively large plot of … Read More

【1】Ryokan Sawanoya
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Hi, my name is Michelle Alleman and I am here today at the Ryokan Sawanoya, which is a traditional Japanese hotel which uses the traditional style of sleeping on tatami mats and using the same bathroom for the entire floor. … Read More

Are Japanese People Religious?
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    A question that many foreigners to Japan seem to ask is, “Are Japanese people religious?” This is a very fascinating question, considering that most Japanese people practice two religions, rather than just one or none at all. To many … Read More

Akasaka Hikawa(shrine)
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   The Hikawa Shrine in Akasaka, Tokyo, like all 59 Hikawa shrines, is a spiritual branch of the Omiya Hikawa Jinja Shrine in Saitama City. This particular location enshrines the primary spiritual protector of the Akasaka District. The shrine was constructed … Read More

Toyokawainari-Tokyo(temple)
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  The Toyokawa Inari Temple is often debated about regarding whether it is actually a temple or if it is a shrine. This place of worship is definitely a temple, however it can be misleading as it contains several Shinto-related qualities. … Read More

Hiejinja(Shrine)
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   All the way back in the year 1478, a man named Ota Dokan constructed the “Hie Shrine.” This shrine is named after the guardian deity of Mount Hie in the Shiga Prefecture. This deity is called Oyamakui-no-kami, or more commonly … Read More

Gotokuji(temple)
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        If you have any interest in Japan, you would probably recognize the maneki neko if you saw it. The maneki neko is that adorable cat with the one arm raised, waving. This cat is also referred to as the “beckoning … Read More

Kimono and Tea Ceremony
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Trying on a Furisode Kimono         The International Institute for Ritual Culture Education (IRCE) gave me the great honor of trying on a furisode kimono. A kimono is a traditional Japanese garment that is worn on special occasions and during festivals. … Read More

What are “Kami?”
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  One of the most prevalent religions in Japan is the Shinto religion. For Americans, understanding this religion can be confusing due to its vast differences from Christianity, the most prevalent religion in the United States. The Shinto religion is focused … Read More

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