Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine

Goshuin from Kitano Tenman-gu

– Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine – 北野天満宮 – Kyoto(京都) – May 4, 2018   Kitano Tenman-gu is a large, beautiful shrine that was built over 1000 years ago. It was built in honor of Sugawara Michizane, a scholar from the Heian period. It’s extremely popular among students who are studying for entrance exams. As you walk up, there are many statues of cows along the walkway. People touch them for good luck. There is also a large grove of plum trees growing here that is beautiful in the spring. If you visit in March, you should check them out. Location:

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Futami Okitama Shrine

Futami Okitama Shrine Goshuin

– Futami Okitama Shrine – 二見興玉神社- Ise(伊勢) – April 29, 2018 Futami Okitama Shrine is best known for the two wedded rocks in the ocean next to it, Meoto-Iwa (husband and wife rocks). Many people like to visit here before Ise Jingu to purify themselves, but we did the exact opposite. As you’d expect of a shrine with such a landmark, it’s popular among couples. This was our first trip as a married couple, and we got a husband and wife omamori set. You can see many frog statues around the shrine. The main kami enshrined here is Sarutahiko no…

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Sarutahiko Shrine (Ise)

Sarutahiko Shrine Goshuin

– Sarutahiko Shrine – 猿田彦神社 – Ise(伊勢) – April 29, 2018   Sarutahiko Shrine is not far from Ise Grand Shrine Naiku. It’s a good place to stop if you decide to walk along Okage-yokocho. It’s on the opposite end from Naiku. Sarutahiko Okami is the kami enshrined here. He was the leader among earthly kami. Many people visit to pray for safe travel and business success. The shrine is very pretty. The torii is a simple wooden structure with lovely decorative caps on the ends. On your way in, you’ll notice that the temizuya is covered in stickers. Location:

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Ise Grand Shrine Naiku

Ise Grand Shrine Naiku Goshuin

– Ise Grand Shrine Naiku – 伊勢神宮内宮 – Ise(伊勢) – April 29, 2018 Ise Grand Shrine, or Ise Jingu, is considered to be Japan’s most sacred shrine. Jingu is not a single place, but a huge complex of shrines through the area centered around Geku (the outer shrine) and Naiku (the inner shrine). Naiku houses Amaterasu-Omikami, the sun goddess and the ancestor of the Japanese imperial line. Geku and Naiku both were designed and built before the introduction of Buddhism to Japan, so the architecture is pure, old-style Shinto. Ise Jingu is also special in that a new Naiku and…

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Ise Grand Shrine Geku

– Ise Grand Shrine Geku – 伊勢神宮外宮 – Ise(伊勢) – April 29, 2018   Ise Grand Shrine, or Ise Jingu, is considered to be Japan’s most sacred shrine. Jingu is not a single place, but a huge complex of shrines through the area centered around Geku (the outer shrine) and Naiku (the inner shrine). This is the goshuin for Geku. Like a lot of older shrines’ goshuin, it is very simple. This goshuin is from Geku. It’s a fairly short walk straight out from Iseshi Station. This outer shrine was established during the 5th century. Geku houses Touyoke Omikami, the…

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Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine

– Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine – 大阪天満宮 – Osaka(大阪) – March 25, 2018 Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine is one of the many important shrines in Japan. It enshrines the god of scholarship, Sugawara no Michizane, so it’s very popular with students. It was built in 949 AD by the emperor Murakami, but it was burnt down and rebuilt a number of times throughout history. The building we see today was built in 1845. Tenjin Matsuri, a boat festival, is hosted here. We stopped by here real quick. I was impressed by the details around the roof. Location:    

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Hozenji

Hozenji Goshuin

– Hozenji – 法善寺 – Osaka(大阪) – February 3, 2018 Dude had to go to Kansai for a wedding, so I decided to tag along to do some of my own sightseeing. It’s not very often I get to freely explore the city. Naturally, I searched for a few shrines and temples to visit in the Nanba area, and Hozenji is a small temple right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Nanba. If you notice the date, I visited on February 3, 2018. It might not look special, but it was Setsubun, a special holiday where you…

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Namba Yasaka Shrine

Nanba Yasaka Shrine Goshuin

– Namba Yasaka Shrine – 難波八坂神社 – Osaka(大阪) – February 3, 2018 I decided to tag along with Dude to Kansai and was going to have a lot of time to myself to explore Namba, so naturally I started looking into the shrines and temples in the Namba area. I had a few misadventures because it was my first time navigating Osaka alone, but I managed to visit Namba Yasaka Shrine and Hozenji. The moment I saw photos of this shrine online I knew I wanted to go see it for myself. The lion-head stage is massive and very striking.…

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Naritasan Shinshoji: Great Peace Pagoda

Naritasan Great Peace Pavillion Goshuin

– Naritasan Shinshoji – 成田山新勝寺 – – Great Peace Pagoda – 平和大塔 – Narita (成田) – December 27, 2017 The Great Peace Pagoda, or Heiwa no Daito, is massively tall structure that was built in 1984. The prayer area is up the stairs, and down on the ground level you can enter a museum. It’s down here that you receive your goshuin. The gentlemen there clipped a numbered clip to my goshuincho, gave me a matching token, and set me loose to check out the displays. When I visited, they had a collection of woodblock prints and paintings on display.…

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Naritasan Shinshoji: Iouden

Naritasan Iouden Goshuin

– Naritasan Shinshoji – 成田山新勝寺 – – Iouden – 醫王殿 – Narita (成田) – December 27, 2017 Iouden is a very new temple that was built in 2017. Everything is so shiny and the fresh cut wood still smells amazing. I love old temples, but the smell of a newly built wood building is amazing. Also the fresh black lacquer was like black glass. It was beautiful. I visited home for the first time in almost two years during winter vacation this year. On the way home I had a whopping 8 hour layover in Narita, so I decided to…

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