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Best Religious Sites in Tokyo

por: Cityseeker
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Tsukiji Hongan-ji

Tsukiji Honganji Temple was established in 1617 in the Yoshiwara area of Tokyo. It was relocated to Tsukiji after the great fire of 1657. The current architecture resembles that of Indian temples and was designed by Chuta Ota in 1935. Once a major complex of over fifty temples, Tsukiji Honganji is now noted for being the biggest temple in Japan made entirely of stone. This is the final resting place of the famous Edo Period artist, Hoitsu Sakai (1761-1828). The temple is also considered to be a pilgrimage owing to the artifacts of Prince Shotoku, Shinran Shonin, and Shonyō Shōnin preserved here.

Tokio, Japón
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Atago Jinja Shrine

Named after Kyoto's famous Mount Atago in Arashiyama, Tokyo's Atago Jinja Shrine is a picturesque Shinto shrine on the hill. The striking red gate of the shrine opens to a large complex which was originally built during the 16th Century and rebuilt in 1958. During the Edo period it was also a choice location for cherry-blossoms. To approach the hillside shrine you must make a choice between two sets of stairs--easy and a difficult! You will find the Benten shrine in the center of a pond. An added attraction is the teahouse for a well-earned rest and refreshment.

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Altar Hie

Este famoso altar de Tokio data de 1478 y fue originalmente construido dentro del Castillo Edo (actualmente conocido como el Palacio Imperial) para protegerlo de sus enemigos. En 1659 se lo trasladó a su ubicación actual pero su función como guardián del palacio se mantuvo firme. Si bien la fachada exterior es de concreto y no dice mucho, la puerta torii está decorada con imágenes de monos, el mensajero del dios del altar. Dentro del museo encontrarán una increíble exposición de espadas Tokugawa y figuras de dioses que en el pasado se utilizaban para las procesiones del Festival Sanno.

Tokio, Japón
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Yasukuni Shrine

Built as a tribute to the soldiers and war heroes of Japan, the Yasukuni Shrine is a notable Shinto Shrine of the country. The shrine commemorates 2,466,532 people comprising of civilians and military and also including those from Taiwan and Korea who once served under the Japanese Emperor. Chinreisha, a separate shrine on the premise houses memorials for the soldiers who fought in opposition to Japan. The architecture of the wooden shrine is remarkable with green and gold embellished roofs and massive courtyards and quadrants dappled with cherry blossoms. The shrine has been a center of conflict, however, is also the hub for several festivals and events of the city. An intriguing site, the Yasukuni Shrine has garnered a lot of attention from locals as well as tourists.

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Myogonji Temple (Toyokawa Inari Shrine)

A Zen temple and a Shinto shrine (dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of harvests) co-exist on this site. This scenario was common until the Meiji restoration, when temples and shrines were officially separated. In the compound is a small shrine in honor of a famous Edo Period administrator, Tadasuke Ohoka. Two fox statues flank the main temple, which is protected by many small Inari shrines. While the architecture and presence of Shinto deities is glaring, the temple remains largely Buddhist. The renowned feature of the temple is Reiko-Zuka or Hill of Foxes, the shrine dotted with hundreds of fox statues wearing red bibs around their neck. Reiko-Zuka is dedicated to fox who is considered the messenger of God.

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Templo de Sensoji

This striking Buddhist temple is one of Tokyo's oldest, originally established in 645 CE in honor of the goddess Kannon. Legend has it that in 628 CE, two brothers found a small statue of the goddess in the Sumida River which miraculously returned to them each time they submerged the idol. The majestic Kaminarimon, or Thunder Gate, guards the approach to Kinryū-Zan Sensō-Ji, its most distinctive feature being a massive paper lantern painted in shades of red and black to resemble a storm cloud. Beyond this lies the Nakamise, a pathway lined with colorful stalls selling traditional crafts and snacks. The temple itself is a magnificent sight, its main hall a grand spectacle replete with intricate details, and large paper lanterns strung from a ceiling held up by towering columns. Set alongside a five-tiered pagoda, the shrine is a vividly vibrant place of worship which is also one of the city's best known. The original temple was damaged during the Second World War; the existing structures are recent additions.

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Santuario Asakusa

Según cuenta la leyenda, hace un milenio los hermanos Hirokuma encontraron una estatua de Kannon (el Bodhisattva de la Misericordia, la deidad que supuestamente tiene el poder de purificar a las personas y concederles deseos) en sus redes de pesca y el jefe de la comunidad se ocupó de construirle un templo. El Santuario Asakusa fue creado, de esta manera, en 1649 y las tres personas involucradas en la leyenda pasaron a la historia como dioses del templo, dándole así el apodo Sanja-sama (templo de los tres dioses). Sin ninguna duda uno de los santuarios más famosos de Tokio, el templo es sede del Festival Sanja que se celebra en mayo de cada año.

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Kameido Tenjin (Santuario Kameido Tenmangu)

El santuario principal dedicado a la memoria de Sugawara no Michizane (más conocido como Tenjin, padre del conocimiento japonés) se encuentra en la ciudad de Fukuoka. Sin embargo, el santuario local de Kameido es un sitio muy popular. Tanto el jardín como el estanque con forma de corazón son bellísimos. El jardín es famoso por sus vides de glisina que bordean los dos puentes tradicionales.

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Imado Jinja Shrine

Imado Jinja Shrine was built in 1083. This shrine suffered damage due to war and earthquakes, however it has been rebuilt each time. Imado Shrine is a famous place of marriage, and many people who want to find their true love visit here. This shrine is the birthplace of "Manekineko," a figure shaped like a cat that is said to be a symbol of prosperity and happiness.

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Hanazono Jinja Shrine

This Inari shrine is located in the center of Shinjuku's commercial district. Originally the Hanazono family provided their garden as a site for this shrine. Previously located near the Isetan department store, the shrine was later moved to its present site. Hanazono is unusual in that it holds an annual "festival of the fowls" (tori no ichi), which is not typically celebrated at an Inari shrine. Other than that, New Years' celebration, Flower Festival and Setsubun Festival are some of the major cultural events held here.

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Santuario Meiji Jingu

Este ejemplo perfecto de arquitectura Shinto, que exhibe colores apagados y líneas simples, fue inaugurado en 1920 para conmemorar el fallecimiento del emperador Meiji en 1912. Rodeado de unas 72 hectáreas de árboles y centenares de especies de flora japonesa que crecen en el Parque Meiji Jingu, este es uno de los santuario es más pintorescos y sagrados del país. El anexo de la Casa del Tesoro Imperial exhibe el carruaje y algunos recuerdos de la coronación del emperador Meiji y la emperatriz Shoken.

Tokio, Japón
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