Hirou Shrine

– Hirou Jinja– 飛瀧神社 – Nachi (那智) – July 20, 2017   Hirou Shrine is located at the base of Nachi Falls (Nachi no Taki) and enshrines the falls. The falls are the tallest unbroken, straight waterfall in Japan and this area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are two Hirou Shrines: Hirou Shine Shamusho and Hirou Shrine Otakihaisho. The former is free, but in order to walk up close to the falls and see the latter, you need to pay a small fee. If you do, it’s beautiful. Nachi Falls are mesmerizing to watch. I sat around staring…

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Chishaku-in

– Chishaku-in– 智積院 – Kyoto (京都) – June 17, 2017   Chishaku-in was the last place we visited before the iaido taikai banquet. It’s a Buddhist temple in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto. It was built in the 1500’s and is famous for its beautiful garden and also its collection of painted panels. Sadly, we were tired and mostly just enjoyed the garden after visiting the temple. Next year I’ll go look at the panels. This goshuin is in my Inuyama Castle Goshuincho. Location

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Sanjusangendo

– Sanjusangendo– 三十三間堂 – Kyoto (京都) – June 17, 2017 Sanjusangendo is a 120 meter long temple in Kyoto that was built in 1164. Why is it so long? Because inside it has 1001 statues of Kannon. They’re all a bit taller than an adult man. In the middle of the building sits a large and intricate statue of Kannon. Sanjusangendo means “33 Spaces,” referring to the 33 spaces that between the columns in the building. It is the longest wooden building in Japan. It is located in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto. I was staying at Hotel Tozankaku for…

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Toyokuni Shrine

Toyokuni Shrine Goshuin

– Toyokuni Jinja – 豊国神社 – Kyoto (京都) – June 17, 2017   Toyokuni Shrine was built in Kyoto in 1599 to commemorate Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It’s a shrine in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto. It houses the blade Honebami, a blade that was once a naginata blade but later became a wakizashi. It has also been made into a character in a game called Touken Ranbu. I play Touken Ranbu, so I was excited about visiting one of the swords for the first time. There are also various goods available at the shrine with Honebami on them. I was in…

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Kinkaku-ji

Kinkaku-ji Goshuin

– Kinkaku-ji – 鹿苑寺 – Kyoto (京都) – May 5, 2017   Kinkaku-ji is probably one of the most famous buildings in Japan. It’s a Zen temple in Kyoto that’s covered in gold leaf built in the middle of a pond. It’s one of the few temples that require an entry fee (400 yen). The grounds are massive and you can see Kinkaku-ji from many angles. There area other buildings as well, such as the head priest’s old living quarters, a tea house, and more. This goshuin is in my Inuyama Castle Goshuincho. Location

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Heian Shrine

– Heian Jingu – 平安神宮 – Kyoto (京都) – May 4, 2017   Compared to many shrines in Kyoto, Heian Shrine is new. It was built in 1895 on the 1100th anniversary of Kyoto becoming the old capitol. Every May and June the iaido taikai are held across the street in the Miyakomesse. On my way to the taikai, I always see the massive torii, but I never took the time to visit Heian Shrine, but this year I did. The grounds are massive and all what white stuff is gravel. I don’t recommend taking your rolling suitcase with you…

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Nishiki Tenman-Gu Shrine

Nishiki Tenman-Gu Shrine

– Nishiki Tenman-Gu – 錦天満宮 – Kyoto (京都) – May 3, 2017   Nishiki Tenman-gu is a small, quirky shrine on Teramachi Street in the Ponto-cho area of Kyoto. It was built during the Heian period and was moved to its current location by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It’s quite cute, with various electronic fortune machines around the inside. Sadly, there was no calligrapher there, so I got a loose paper goshuin that was prepared before and pasted it into my goshuincho. This goshuin is in my Inuyama Castle Goshuincho. Location

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Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Jinja Goshuin

– Shimogamo Jinja – 熱田神宮 – Kyoto (京都) – May 3, 2017   Shimogamo Shrine and its sister shrine, Kamigamo Shrine, are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are over 2000 years old. In other words they were built before Kyoto was ever the old capital. Shimogamo Shrine is in a lovely green forest called Tadasu no Mori. Every year at the start of the Aoi Matsuri, there is a big yabusame (horseback archery) demonstration. If you noticed the date I received this goshuin, yes, I was lucky enough to watch yabusame. I was amazed at how fast they were…

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Atsuta Shrine

– Atsuta Jingu – 熱田神宮 – Nagoya (名古屋) – April 23, 2017 Atsuta Shrine is one of the Japan’s most important Shinto shrines, second only to Ise Shrine. It was built 1900 years ago and enshrines the Sun Goddess Amaterasu. As you may be aware, Japan has Three Sacred Treasures: the sword Kusanagi, the mirror Yata no Kagami, and the jewel Yasakani no Magatama. Atsuta Shrine houses one of these three treasures: Kusanagi. Sadly you cannot see the sword. Not even the emperor can see the sword. No one has actually seen the sword since the Edo Period, but we…

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Osu Kannon

– Osu Kannon – 大須観音 – Nagoya (名古屋) – April 23, 2017   I go to the Osu Kannon area a lot for Solo Pizza and shopping. It was built during the Kamakura period in Gifu Prefecture, but it kept getting damaged by floods so Tokugawa Ieyasu moved it to Nagoya in the 1600’s. It houses a huge statue of Kannon made by Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism. This goshuin is in my Inuyama Castle Goshuincho. Location

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