Tokyo Shrine Guide includes the most popular Shinto shrines in Tokyo with description of these Tokyo Shrines and many pictures.
Tokyo has quite a few Shinto shrines, but not as many as there are Buddhist temples. Many of the Tokyo Shrines have been destroyed by fire, particularly during World War II, however there are some particularly good examples remaining. The best and most popular Tokyo Shrine is Meiji Jingu Shrine, which is centrally located in Harajuku District of Shibuya Ward.
Tokyo Shrine - Meiji Jingu Shrine
Asakusa jinja Shrine is a Shinto Shrine next to Sensoji Temple in the Asakusa District of Taito Ward of Tokyo. Asakusa jinja Shrine is dedicated to the three men who established Sensoji Temple. Asakusa jinja Shrine organises the largest festival in Tokyo, Sanja Matsuri, which attracts around 2 million spectators. Sanja Matsuri is held on the third weekend of May.
Chingodo Shrine is a Shinto Shrine next to Dempoin Temple's pond, in the Asakusa District of Taito Ward of Tokyo. Chingodo Shrine is dedicated to tanuki, the raccoon dog figure which is depicted in many traditional Japanese stories and myths.
Ebara Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Shinagawa Ward of Tokyo, that is said to have been established by the God of Water in 709AD. In 1062, Minamoto Yoritomo visited Ebara Shrine and prayed for a victory against Abe Clan. Since then Ebara Shrine has been the head shrine to protect Shinagawa. The object of enshrinement at Ebara Shrine is Ebisu (god of fishing).
Hie Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in the Nagatacho District of the Chiyoda Ward of central Tokyo. Hie Shrine is believed to have been established in 1478 by Ota Dokan. Hie Shrine was moved to within the grounds of Edo Castle by Tokugawa Ieyasu, however in 1604 his son Tokugawa Hidetada relocated it outside of the castle, so that the people of Edo could worship there. In 1657 the shaden was destroyed in the Great Fire of Meireki and in 1659 it was rebuilt on its current site by Tokugawa Ietsuna. The current structures date to 1958, when they were rebuilt following their destruction in the firebombing of 1945. Hie Shrine possesses a sword which is a National Treasure, plus 13 further swords and one naginata which are Important Cultural Assests.
Kameido Tenjin Shrine is a famous Shinto Shrine in the Koto Ward of Tokyo. Kameido Tenjin Shrine enshrines Sugawara no Michizane, a deity of scholarship. Kameido Tenjin Shrine, established in 1662, is famous for it arched or "drum bridge" and its purple wisteria. Kameido Tenjin Shrine holds the "Fuji Matsuri" or Wisteria Festival in April each year.
Kanda Shrine, formally known as Kanda Myojin Shrine, is a Shinto Shrine that was established in 730AD. Kanda Shrine today is located in Chiyoda Ward of central Tokyo, however it was initially established not far away in the village of Shibasaki in what today is Otemachi District. Kanda Shrine was then moved to what was Kanda Ward in 1603 and then Akihabara in 1616. Kanda Shrine was destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and was rebuilt in 1934 using concrete, which is basically the structure of today. Kanda Shrine became famous in the Edo Period when the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu regularly visited. Kanda Shrine hosts the Kanda Festival, which is one of the largest in Tokyo.
Katori Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Koto Ward of Tokyo, that was established in 665AD by Fujiwara Kamatari. There are around 400 Katori Shrines in Japan, mainly in Kanto, with the head Katori Shrine being in Chiba Prefecture. Katori Shrine holds the Katsuya Festival on 5th of May every year.
Kifune Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Ota Ward of Tokyo, that is said to have been established around 1266. The object of enshrinement at Kifune Shrine is Izanagi-no-ohkami (a male god who created Japan).
Koishikawa Shrine was separated from Ise Shrine on 7 March 1966. Koishikawa Shrine is in the central Tokyo ward of Bunkyo and it blends with tall buildings surrounding it. Koishikawa Shrine considers itself a Tokyo branch of Ise Shrine.
Meiji Jingu Shrine is one of the most popular shines in Tokyo. Meiji Jingu Shrine is in the middle of large evergreen forest of 120,000 trees which is surprising given it is in Harajuku. Meiji Jingu Shrine was built to enshrine Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken.
Musashi Mitake Shrine is a Shinto Shrine on the top of a mountain in the city of Ome in Tokyo Prefecture. Musashi Mitake Shrine was established in 91BC by Emperor Sujin. In 736 Priest Gyoki presented the Zao-Gongen statue to the temple. In 1234 Musashi Mitake Shrine was restored and since then it has continued to expand its collection of tresures including the National Tresures: Akaito Odoshi Yoroi (Armour) offered by Hatakeyama Shigetada in 1191 and Enmon Raden Kagamikura (Suit of harness) made in 13th century, plus the Important Cultural Assests: Murasaki Susogono Yoroi (Armour) made in 13th century, Tokin Chofukurin Tachi (Sword) offered by Tokugawa Ieyasu (Shogun) in 1605 and Kuro Urushi Tachi (Sword) made in 1324.
Nezu Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Bunkyo Tokyo. According to legend Nezu Shrine was established over 1,900 years ago in Sendagi by Yamato Takeruno Mikoto. In 1705, the 5th shogun Tsunayoshi relocated it from Sendagi to its current site. Nezu Shrine has several parts which are designated Important Cultural Properties: Honden (main sanctuary), Romon (two story gate) and the lattice windowed wall (Sukibei). Nezu Shrine is also famous for the Azalea Festival (Tsutsuji Matsuri) which held within the grounds of the shrine during April and early May.
Oji Inari Shrine is a Shinto Shrine dedicated to the deity Inari, who is the patron of fertility, rice, agriculture and foxes. The Oji District in Kita Ward Tokyo, had been a major rice growing area for more than a thousand years. Oji Inari Shrine, which features a beautiful painted ceiling, dates back to Heian Period. The beautiful wooden shrine has a hand painted ceiling. The garden of Oji Inari Shrine once featured three waterfalls which are part of the famous Seven Falls of Oji as depicted by Hiroshige, however only a tiny artificial waterfall serves as a reminder.
Okunitama Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Fuchu City Tokyo. Okunitama Shrine, which is said to have been established in 111AD by Emperor Keiko, is considered to be one of the five major shrines in Tokyo. Okunitama Shrine complex includes seven sub shrines including: Matsuo, Tatsumi, Toshoguu, Sumiyoshi, Owashi, Miyanome and Inari, plus a sumo ring, a memorial for the Japanese-Russo War and gorgeous cherry blossom tree. Okunitama Shrine hosts one of the three oldest festivals in Kanto, the Kurayami matsuri or Darkness Festival between 30 April and 6th of May each year.
Tomioka Hachiman Shrine is the largest Hachiman (dedicated to the god of war who is also the protector of the Japanese people) Shinto Shrine in Tokyo. Tomioka Hachiman Shrine was established in 1627, however all the buildings were burnt down during fire bombing in 1945. Tomioka Hachiman Shrine is also the origin of the sport of sumo, which was started in 1684. Tomioka Hachiman Shrine is in the Fukagawa District of the Koto Ward.
Toshogu Shrine was built in 1617 is considered to be valuable for its historical architecture, Grand Oishi Torii Gate and bronze garden lanterns. Toshogu Shrine is open every day of the year. Toshogu Shrine is situated within Ueno Park Tokyo.
Yasukuni Shrine is a controversial shrine to Japan's war dead, housing the souls of some 2.5 million people killed in Japan's wars — including convicted war criminals executed by the Allies. The Yasukuni Shrine is in Chiyoda ward Tokyo.
Yushima Tenmangu Shrine, also known as Yushima Tenjin Shrine, is a Shinto Shrine dedicated to the god of wisdom, Michizane Sugawara. Yushima Tenmangu Shrine is in Bunkyo Ward Tokyo. The grounds of Yushima Tenmangu Shrine feature a Japanese plum tree garden where a plum tree festival is held annually from February to March. The closest station to Yushima Tenmangu Shrine is Yushima.
Author: Craig Fryer