Kiyomizudera: Hondo

– Kiyomizudera Hondo – 清水寺本堂 – Kyoto(京都) – August 7, 2018 Kiyomizudera (Pure Water Temple) is a sprawling temple in the Higashiyama part of Kyoto. The Hondo, or Main Hall, is famous for it’s stage that hangs over the hill below. This is the goshuin for the Kiyomizudera Hondo. The stage attached to the Hondo is about 43 feet above the hill and is built without nails using traditional methods. The surrounding sakura and maple trees make it especially stunning in the spring and fall. However, the view of Kyoto in the distance is wonderful at any time of year.…

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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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Bansho-ji: Migawari Fudo-Myo

– Migawari Fudo-myo – 身代不動明王 – Nagoya(名古屋) – May 5, 2018 If you ever get the chance to spend time in Nagoya, I recommend going to the Osu Kannon shopping area. Of course, Osu Kannon is probably the biggest tourist site in the area, but if you enter the shopping arcade you’ll discover a treasure trove of shops, good food, and a small, modern temple known as Bansho-ji. You can receive 6 goshuin here: Migawari Fudo-myo, Juichimen Kannon Ofuke Kannon Bussoku Seki Omokaru Jizo Now it’s very modern and flashy looking and really fits in nicely with the surrounding arcades and…

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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 Blue Goshuincho

Ise Grand Shrine Blue Goshuincho Front

Ise Grand Shrine Geku Goshuincho When: April 29, 2017 Where: Ise Grand Shrine Naiku Size: Large (12cm x 18cm)   I originally got the small purple goshincho at Geku, but when I was looking at the shop at Naiku I really loved this light blue goshuincho. I wound up buying two at Ise Jingu. The pattern on this goshuincho is simple, but because of the way its woven it sparkles quite a bit. The Ise Jingu logo is woven into it. This one costs 1200 yen. This design is not available at Geku. At Naiku, this and a few other…

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