Atago-jinja Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Minato City, Tokyo prefecture. The shrine was built in 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the famed first shogun of the Tokugawa Era. The shrine is home to the 86 Steep, which are stone steps leading up to the shrine. There is a red torii gate as the entrance to the stairs that make for a great photo opportunity.
Once you make your way up the 86 Steep, you will approach the first torii gate of Atago-jinja. This grey gate is very traditional and leads you into the shrine itself. I visited Atago-jinja during the “Hozuki Market” which is held for two days (June 23rd and 24th) per year. During the period, there is a cogon grass ring (also known as a chinowa) that you can pass through. It is said that passing through the ring grants you blessings for 1,000 days. It was very interesting to see the cogon grass ring as it only is used once per year and makes for a different shrine experience compared to visiting throughout the majority of the year. The shrine also has a traditional offertory box where you will see many locals praying to the shrine’s kami. Numerous Shinto gods are enshrined at Atago-jinja including Homusubi no mikoto, the god of fire.
Atago-jinja is a beautiful shrine that I highly recommend visiting. If you visit from June 23rd to 24th, you will be able to experience the chinowa, which is such a unique part of the Shinto religion that you are only able to see once per year during the “Hozuki Market”. The 86 Steep also offers quite a challenge in order to make your way up to the shrine.