Ise Shrine (Inner) [伊勢神宮 内宮]

The holy site among holy sites, the so-called first among Shinto shrines, Ise Jingu. Nestled in something like the middle of the main Honshu island, pilgrims have been making their way to this place to worship for centuries. So lets go check it out!

Ise Naiku Shogu

main hall of Ise Inner Shrine

Ise Shrine is actually composed of two shrines, the Inner (naiku) and Outer (geku), each of considerable size and importance, so for organization’s sake I will be splitting this post up in to two parts to match. If you haven’t already, start yourself off at The Outer Shrine before coming back to this post. Otherwise, let’s move along!

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Ise Shrine (Outer) [伊勢神宮 外宮]

The holy site among holy sites, the so-called first among Shinto shrines, Ise Jingu. Nestled in something like the middle of the main Honshu island, pilgrims have been making their way to this place to worship for centuries. So what’s stopping you from joining them, huh?

Ise Geku Headon

Ise Outer Shrine main hall

Ise Shrine is actually composed of two shrines, the Inner (naiku) and Outer (geku), each of considerable size and importance, so for organization’s sake I will be splitting this post up in to two parts to match. For now, let’s make our first stop at the Outer Ise Shrine.

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Mitsumine Shrine [三峰神社]

Take a day to leave the bustling city of Tokyo behind and grab a Seibu line express to head up to Chichibu in northern Saitama prefecture in order to take in the sights. The mountain slopes, the countryside, the hot springs, the… shrine famous for wolf worship?

Mitsumine Shrine Honden

Welcome to Mitsumine Jinja, a shrine built in the forests of Mount Mitsumine about three hours out from Tokyo proper.

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Hanazono Shrine [花園神社]

If you like the juxtaposition of the city and nature packaged in with your shrine visit- or just want to drop by one while out shopping but don’t want to fight through the flood of people you’re more likely to encounter at Meiji Shrine, then Hanazono is the shrine for you!
Hanazono Shrine main hall from the side.

Hanazono Shrine main hall from the side.

Situated right next to Kabukicho, a popular nightlife bar and club district, and a mere few minutes walk from Shinjuku station proper, you can’t get much more urban than this. No need for a long trek or a special stop since most tourists hit up Shinjuku during their stay in Tokyo anyway, so why not give this shrine a try while you’re there?

Shinagawa Shrine [品川神社]

It’s a huge rock, it’s a bastion of cement, it’s a weirdly jagged hill- ! No, it’s a shrine situated on hardened lava from Mount Fuji’s last eruption! How cool is that?

A view of the shrine from across the street.

A view of the shrine from across the street.

Welcome to Shinagawa Shrine, located next to the old Tokaido road, and one of the top ten shrines in Tokyo back under the Ten Shrine System started by Emperor Meiji. Accessible via Shinbanba station on the Keikyuu line, it’s not often crowded nor packed with tourists, but is interesting enough that its almost a shame. (Except not really because… Let’s face it, shrines you have to fight your way through are far less fun.)

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