Namiyoke Inari Jinja(Shrine)
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   I often ask people what they think of when I mention Japan, and the most common response I receive is “sushi.” A big staple in Japanese culture is this delicious cuisine, and the best place to try it is at … Read More

The Difference Between Rinzai and Soto Zen
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This past week I had the opportunity to attempt zazen meditation at both a Rinzai-zen school and a Soto-zen school. Since the differences between these two schools is highly debated, I will explain only what I, an English-speaking foreigner, could … Read More

Sojiji(Temple)
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  Every time I visit a temple or shrine in Japan, I always find myself thinking, “This is it. This is the most amazing shrine/temple in Japan.” With thousands upon thousands of shrines and temples, it is hard to pick a … Read More

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

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