Meiji Grand Shrine

Meiji Jingu Goshuin

– Meiji Grand Shrine – 明治神宮 – Tokyo(東京) – August 3 2018 Meiji Grand Shrine is, shockingly, just outside Harajuku Station. When you exit the station into this bustling, fashionable area, a large, peaceful, woodsy area and a huge shrine are the last things that come to mind. But it’s there. After crossing a small bridge, you are greeted by a large, plain wooden torii surrounded by tall trees. The instant you walk through this gate, it’s as if you’ve left the city behind. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit twice, once 2013 and once in 2018; both in summer.…

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Imado Shrine

Imado Shrine

– Imado Shrine – 今戸神社 – Tokyo(東京) – July 31, 2018 Like cats? Then you should definitely check out this shrine. Imado Shrine is famous for two things: matchmaking and the money beckoning cat known as maneki neko. Located near Asakusa Station, I highly recommend checking it out. The reason for the shrine’s famed matchmaking powers are the enshrined gods Izanagi and Izanami, the first couple to marry according to the Japanese records. It’s a good place to pray for love. This is also the origin of the famed maneki neko. According to legend, the first maneki neko statue was…

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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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Naritasan Shinshoji: Komyodo

Goshuin from Naritasan Komyodo

– Naritasan Shinshoji – 成田山新勝寺 – – Komyodo – 光明堂 – Narita (成田) – December 27, 2017 Komyodo is a small temple building that was built in 1701. Nearby, you can see the open air hall, Gakudo. For some reason, I really liked the way Gakudo looked. Something about the plaques and signs hanging all over it felt nice. 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 go check out Narita-san Temple. Naritasan Shinshoji has…

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Naritasan Shinshoji: Shusse Inari

Naritasan Shuse Inari Goshuin

– Naritasan Shinshoji – 成田山新勝寺 – – Shusse Inari – 出世稲荷 – Narita (成田) – December 27, 2017 Shusse Inari is an example of the odd mixing that occurred between Shinto and Buddhism in Japan. It’s totally a shinto style inari shrine but it’s a temple. Unlike most of the locations on the Naritasan Shinshoji grounds, it also doesn’t appear on the English information map but does appear on the Japanese one. I’m not sure why. I visited home for the first time in almost two years during winter vacation this year. On the way home I had a whopping…

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Naritasan Shinshoji: Shakado

Goshuin from Shakado in Naritasan Shinshoji

– Naritasan Shinshoji – 成田山新勝寺 – – Shakado – 釈迦堂 – Narita (成田) – December 27, 2017   Shakado is one of the temples on the grounds of Naritasan Shinshoji. It was built in 1858 and was originally the main hall before the Great Main Hall was built. It’s much smaller than the Great Main Hall. I visited home for the first time for my winter vacation this year. My itinerary included a whopping 8 hour layover in Narita, so I decided to go check out Narita-san Temple. Naritasan Shinshoji has several temples on the grounds and you can get…

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Naritasan Shinshoji: Great Main Hall

– Naritasan Shinshoji – 成田山新勝寺 – – Great Main Hall – 大本堂 – Narita (成田) – December 27, 2017 The Great Main Hall (Daihondo) was built in 1986, making it one of the newer buildings on the grounds. When you walk through the gate, across the bridge, and up the stairs, this is the huge building that dominates the plaza. To the right of it is the beautifully painted three story pagoda that was built in 1712. I visited home for the first time in almost two years during winter vacation this year. On the way home I had a…

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