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Best Religious Sites in Tokyo

Par: 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.

Tokyo, Japon
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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.

Tokyo, Japon
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Hie Shrine

Nestled in the recesses of Nagatachō, the iconic Hei Shrine upholds the spirit of the Shinto school. The temple enshrines Oyamakui-no-kami, its architecture comprising traditional elements like pointed roofs and scarlet, lacquered furnishings. Dating back to 1478, this revered shrine was originally built inside the Edo Castle to serve as protection from enemies. It was moved to its present site in 1659, with its role as guardian of the palace unfazed and unchanged. Although the facade is insignificant concrete, the torii gate bears inscriptions and glorious images of monkeys, which are believed to be messengers of the shrine's deity. A fine collection of Tokugawa swords and other relics are also on display in the shrine museum. An iconic sanctum in the midst of Tokyo's cosmopolitan din, the shrine does not just reverberate with an ardor which has shaped the religious course of the country, but also carries within itself legendary traces of the Kamakura eon.

Tokyo, Japon
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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.

Tokyo, Japon
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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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Sensō-ji

Ce magnifique temple bouddhiste est l’un des plus anciens de Tokyo, initialement établi en 645 en hommage à la déesse Kannon. D’après la légende, en 628, deux frères trouvèrent une petite statue de la déesse dans le fleuve Sumida qui revenaient à eux à chaque fois qu’ils la submergeaient. Le majestueux Kaminarimon (porte du Tonnerre) protège l’entrée de Kinryū-Zan Sensō-Ji, orné d’une immense lanterne en papier avec des nuances de rouge et de noir qui la font ressembler à un nuage orageux. La rue Nakamise se trouve derrière, bordée de stands colorés vendant des objets artisanaux traditionnels et des collations. Le temple est un magnifique spectacle en soi-même, avec une salle principale ornée de détails complexes et de grandes lanternes en papier suspendues au plafond soutenu par d’imposantes colonnes. Situé le long d’une pagode de 5 niveaux, ce sanctuaire est un lieu de culte animé qui est également l’un des plus célèbres de la ville. Le temple original fut gravement endommagé pendant la Seconde guerre mondiale, et les structures existantes sont des ajouts plus récents.

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Asakusa Shrine

La légende affirme qu'il y a un millénaire, les frères Hirokuma ont trouvé la statue de Kannon (le Bodhisattva de la clémence - la divinité qui aurait les grands pouvoirs de purifier les gens et de leur accorder le véritable bonheur) dans leurs filets de pêche et le chef du village l'a enchâssée consciencieusement. Le sanctuaire Asakusa a ainsi été fondé en 1649 et les trois personnes de la légende ont été consacrées en tant que dieux du sanctuaire, ce qui explique le surnom Sanja-sama (le sanctuaire de trois dieux). Indubitablement le sanctuaire le plus célèbre de Tokyo, il accueille aussi le Festival Sanja en mai.

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Kameido Tenjin (Kameido Tenmangu Shrine)

The main shrine dedicated to the memory of Sugawara no Michizane (better known as Tenjin, the father of Japanese learning) is in the city of Fukuoka. However the local shrine here in Kameido is itself a popular place to visit. Both the garden and the heart-shaped pond are quite beautiful. The garden is famous for the vines from the wisteria trees that flank the two traditional drum bridges.

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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.

Tokyo, Japon
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Meiji-jingū

Dédié aux esprits divinisés de l’empereur Meiji et de l’impératrice Shoken, ce sanctuaire shinto fut initialement construit en 1920 sur le site d’un jardin d’iris qui était apprécié par le couple royal. L’empereur Meiji monta sur le trône en 1867, à l’apogée de la restauration de Meiji, faisant sortir le Japon des voiles du féodalisme pour entrer dans l’ère moderne. La sanctuaire nagare-zukuri traditionnel est bâti au milieu d’une forêt foisonnante et toujours verte de plus de 10 000 arbres de tout le Japon, témoignage de gratitude de la part du peuple. À la fois simple et élégant, le Meiji-jingū est isolé de l’effervescence de la ville, son linceul verdoyant adoucissant les sons de la métropole animée qu’est Tokyo. Non loin de là se trouve l’envoûtant jardin intérieur, un champ d’iris en fleurs en juin. L’Imperial Treasure House expose également le chariot de couronnement et plusieurs autres souvenirs intrigants de l’empereur Meiji et de l’impératrice Shoken. Le sanctuaire qui s’élève aujourd’hui est une reconstruction de l’original, qui remonte à 1958 après la destruction de son prédécesseur pendant la Seconde guerre mondiale.

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