Tokyo, a city steeped in history and tradition, has a wealth of religious monuments. No trip to Tokyo is complete without a visit to some of these impressive places of worship, both shrines and temples. Below is the list of 10 shrines you definitely should visit:
1. Meiji Shrine
Meiji Shrine is a very popular place for traditional Japanese-style weddings, before that, it is built to dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. Surrounded by a wood of over 100,000 trees from Yoyogi Park, the Shrine has walkways though it so visitors can explore the sylvan beauty, as well as the way to popular areas of Aoyama, Omotesando, and Harajuku.
5mins walk from Harajuku Station
1-1 Yoyogi Kamizonocho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
spring & autumn 5:40 a.m. – 5:20 p.m.
summer 4:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
winter 6:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.
free entrance to Shrine grounds
500 yen to see the irises
500 yen to enter the Treasure House and Treasure Museum Annex (Bunkakan)
2. Nezu Shrine
Has its roots in almost 2,000 years of Japanese history, Nezu Shrine is famous for its close association with Japan’s Imperial family. One architectural feature of note is the hundreds of torii archways that make tunnel-like paths around part of the grounds, and especially its azalea garden and is closely associated with Japan’s Imperial family. Nezu Shrine is famous first and foremost for that is a riot of vivid spring pinks, whites and purples in April, creates the beautiful landscape for the Shrine itself.
3mins walk from Nezu Station
1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
3. Yushima Tenjin
Also known as Yushima Tenmangu, it’s a shrine perched on high ground in Bunkyo ward. Yushima Tenjin exists from the fifth century, when it venerated a mythical Shinto god, then in the 14th century it became associated with the classical Confucian scholar. A beautiful bronze nadeushi “stroking cow” outside is believed to confer healing.
2mins walk from Yushima Subway Station
3-30-1 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Treasure Building 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
4. Yasukuni Shrine
Yasukuni Shrine is dedicated to Japan’s war dead, and as such is disproportionately political – as opposed to religious – is the most controversial shrine. On weekends Yasukuni’s grounds are a regular venue for second-hand markets. In mid-July, the shrine’s summer Mitama Matsuri festival is hugely popular, drawing thousands of yukata-clad youth.
5mins walk from Kudanshita Station
10 minutes walk from Ichigaya and Iidabashi stations
3-1-1 Kudankita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
5. Kanda Myojin Shrine
Kanda Myojin Shrine is very popular with the local people because they feel that if they worship here it will give them: happy family life, success and prosperity in their businesses, and will help them to find a well-matched marriage partner. Being unique for surrounded by another 9 shrines, one of which is called the Uogashi (fish market) Shrine or The Water Shrine, you definitely should come here!
5mins walk from Ochanomizu Station
2-16-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo
6. Togo Shrine
The Tōgō Shrine was built in 1940 and dedicated to Gensui The Marquis Tōgō Heihachirō shortly after his death. The Marquis Tōgō Heihachirō is celebrated as a shinto kami.
8mins walk from Yamanote Harajuku station
1-5-3 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
7. Hikawa Shrine
Hikawa Shrine is a Japanese Shinto shrine in Omiya-ku, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture. Surrounding the shrine is a large park in which there are many cherry blossom trees, a zoo and a museum.
25mins by train from Ueno Station.
March, April, September and October 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
May to August 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
November to February 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
8. Asakusa Shrine
Asakusa Shrine, also known as Sanja-sama, is one of the most famous Shinto shrines in Tokyo, Japan. Located in Asakusa, the shrine honors the three men who founded the Sensō-ji.
5mins by train to Ueno Station
2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
9. Atago Shrine
Shinto shrine built in 1603 on the order of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. The current shrine was rebuilt in 1958. The shrine is located on Atago Hill, which is 26 meters above sea level. Its stairways are called Tokyo’ stairways to heaven.
5mins walk from Toranomon Station
1 chome 5-3 Atago, Minato-ku, Tokyo
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
10. Hanazono Shrine
Hanazono literaly means Flower Garden, and is one of the important Shinto Shrines found in Tokyo.
10mins walk from Shinjuku Station
5-17-3 Shinjuku, Tokyo
Thumbnail image is from Flickr