Today, I will be talking about six different shrines in the Tokyo area that are related to anime. Many locations in Tokyo serve as an influence for a particular anime or are directly featured in the show. Unbeknownst to me, I visited and wrote about a shrine that was featured in an anime a few posts ago. Kanda Myojin Shrine was featured in the show Love Live.
The first shrine that I visited on my two-day excursion was Asahi-Inari Shrine. The shrine is featured in the film Weathering With You. The portion of the shrine that is shown in the movie is the rooftop portion. Unfortunately, the rooftop is currently closed due to construction being done on its parent building. There is a small shrine at the ground level that is open, but it is not as well known as the rooftop one and is much smaller.
The second shrine that I visited on this adventure was Azabu Hikawa Shrine in Minato City. Azabu Hiwaka Shrine was founded in 938 and was burnt down in the war during the Showa era, but was rebuilt in 1948. Today, Azabu Hikawa Shrine is known for being featured in the extremely popular anime, Sailor Moon. Azabu Hikawa Shrine is a rather small shrine that is located in a predominately residential area. Despite its size, the site is beautiful and conveys a powerful presence.
The third anime-related shrine I visited, Suga Jinja, is a highly visited spot by fans of the Makoto Shinkai film Your Name. Suga Jinja is located in Shinjuku City and is known for one of its sets of stairs, which is featured towards the end of the movie. The shrine which is elevated above ground level, has two sets of stairs that you can take to reach it. The stairs featured in Your Name are the otoko-zaka, which is composed of about 50 stairs. If you are not sure which stairs are the Your Name stairs, they have a red railing while the other set of stairs does not. You will also see locals and tourists posing for pictures on the stairs. Suga Jinja also sells ema, wooden prayer plaques, themed to Your Name. Even if you are not a fan of the movie, Suga Jinja is still an excellent shrine to visit that features lush landscaping, elegant buildings, and a unique feel due to its location within a residential area.
The fourth anime-related shrine that I visited was Numabukuro Hikawa Shrine. Numabukuro Hikawa Shrine can be seen in the anime Tokyo Revengers. Fans of the show and manga will recognize the shrine as the location where the franchise’s main team was formed. The shrines feature multiple torii gates and statues of the shrine’s kami or gods.
The fifth shrine that I visited was Koenji Hikawa Shrine in Koenji, a neighborhood of Suginami City. Koenji Hikawa Shrine served as inspiration for the shrine featured in Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You, his follow-up to Your Name. The shrine is dedicated to the weather and is home to lots of ema, wooden plaques on which you can write your prayers/wishes. Similar to in the movie, the ema at Koenji Hikawa Shrine are shaped like geta, traditional Japanese sandals.
The sixth and last shrine I visited on my two-day outing was Fuda Tenjinsha. The shrine is located in Chofu City which is where manga artist Shigeru Mizuki lived for the majority of his life. The shrine served as inspiration when Mizuki drew GeGeGe no Kitaro. There is a yearly festival called the “Gegege Memorial” held every year in November in Chofu City and Fuda Tenjinsha has special edition goshuin for sale during the festival. Near the shrine, there is a park, Kitaro Hiroba, and numerous streets in the shopping district that have statues of various characters from GeGeGe no Kitaro.
Many locations throughout Tokyo have been used in anime. Fans will often visit the locations that they have become familiar with due to being featured in a popular anime. As I explored over the past two days, there are numerous spots throughout Tokyo that are related to anime and Japanese culture. Being able to experience a Japanese shrine is on many tourist’s bucket lists and being able to visit a location that they have come to know due to it being featured in an anime at the same time is an added bonus!