The shrines of Japan are used as the sacred place to keep religious objects, but they are not there for actual worship of them. Their main purpose is just to house the objects. It is literally a housing which is normally surrounded by a honden, or a sanctuary. It is not always necessary to have a honden, however, at times the shrine may be located near an alter, or on a mountain. You may also see mini shrines located throughout your journeys in Japan located on the roadside, or in other areas.


Address 1-1, Yoyogi-Kamizonocho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0052Map
Description Consecrated in in 1920, the Meiji-Jingu shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. Today, the shrine is in the heart of a 175 acre forest, with trees spanning 365 different varieties. The area has become a relaxation site for many Tokyo natives, and tourists often frequent the forest to escape the summer sunshine. The shrine itself is open for visitors to pay homage, with strict procedures in place to show the proper respect to the Emperor and Empress.

Yasukuni Shrine

Address 3-1-1 Kudankita Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8246Map
Description This Shinto Shrine is located outside Chiyoda Tokyo. Created originally by Emperor Meji, it was a shrine that was erected to memorialize the many who had died while giving service to the Empire of Japan. It has the list and names of over 2.4 million individuals who gave, or lost their lives during the Boshin War and during World War II. A sight to behold, it is one of the largest memorial shrines in the world. - See more at:


Address 2-3-1, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032Map
Description Once a barren and unpopulated area, Asakusa is now a thriving community thanks to the discovery of the statue of a Kannon by two fishermen brothers in 623AD. The discovery was of such importance that a shrine was built to house the statue and it has continued to be a significant place of worship and pilgrimage ever since. Today the temple boasts eight halls, decorative gates, gardens and pagodas, and is the focus of several festivals including the Sanja Matsuri in May.


Address 2-16-2, Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0021Map
Description The Kando-Myojin temple, dedicated to Diakokuten, Ebisu and Tairo no Masakado, is now located in the Chiyoda area of Tokyo but it has been moved several times during its long history. The original temple was built in 730AD, but unfortunately, due to fires and earthquakes, it no longer exists in its original form. However, the current temple is constantly being renovated to keep it well preserved for it worshippers. The temple is in the Shinto style with cypress wood gates and a gold and enameled interior.


Address 3-30-1, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0034Map
Description The Yushima-Tenmangu is a Shinto shrine which is dedicated to the Kami of Learning, Tenjin. A Kami is part of the Shinto faith, and while sometimes translated to mean ‘God’, it more generally means a worshipped figure. The shrine was originally built in 458, but in 1355 was made larger to accommodate Tenjin. There is an annual festival held at the shrine in February or March, depending on when the plum grove blossoms.

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