Traditional Japanese Purin Shop Zenkoji Purin with Tearoom Opens in Nagano

01.July.2018 | FOOD

Zenkoji Temple is one of the most important and popular temples in Japan and one of Pure Land Buddhism. A new purin shop will open close by the temple. It will serve traditional style purin, a type of Japanese custard and caramel dessert, as well as being the first purin shop to have its own tearoom. It’s located in an old oil house that has been around for 280 years since the Edo Period.

The shop has both a tearoom and tea house garden, offering a traditional Japanese space for people to relax and enjoy their purin. Their goal is to let locals and tourists experience tradition with a twist.

 

The purin sold here uses carefully selected ingredients grown in the natural environment of Nagano. For example, the milk used―called Azumino Gyunyu―has a mellow and deep flavour to it.

Customers can also look forward to drinking tea such as houjicha made by people with great knowledge and experience that has accumulated over the years. They also do their best to make the purin fresh to order. As of now there are 5 different expertly made flavours available, so be sure to try them all!

 

■Information
Zenkoji Purin

Address: 170 Higashimachi, Nagano-shi, Nagano Prefecture

*5-minutes on foot from Zenkoji Temple

Opening Hours (Shop): 10:00am-5:00pm

Opening Hours (Tearoom): 12:00pm-4:00pm (Last Orders 3:30pm)

Website: http://zenkoji-purin.com/

 

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    ▼Cafe Yamamoto (やまもと喫茶)
    Address:307―2 Ishibashicho, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 7:00-17:00 (L.O.16:30)
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Official Instagram: @yamamoto_kissa
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    Pudding: ¥450
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    Address: 440-3 Santeicho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00 (Last Orders: 17:00)
    No regular holidays
    Official Instagram: @kissa_zou
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    Address: 175 Honeyacho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
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    Closed: January 1-3
    Official Instagram: http://takagi-coffee.jugem.jp/
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    Address: 184 Nishikiyamachi-dori-Shijo-kudaru; Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto.
    Opening Hours: 11:00-22:30(L.O 22:0)
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    Official Instagram: http://www.francois1934.com
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    Address: 37 Saiinkitayakakecho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours:
    Tuesdays-Sundays: 11:30-20:00
    Wednesdays: 11:30-21:00
    Closed: Mondays
    Official Website: http://nottacafe.com

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    Research for article contents and photos provided by: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

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    With the increase in number of collaborations between contemporary digital art and traditional and historical Kyoto sites, teamLab is getting in on the action with its new digital art exhibition “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine.”

     

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    Some of the special benefits of the programme allow you to enjoy the best regional cuisine that Hida has to offer, including the wonderful experience of restaurants that have been loved by the locals for generations, a beef delicacy restaurant, and much more. Besides food, the programme also gives you the opportunity to witness the beautiful festival floats used during the Takayama festival at the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan. You can also enjoy experiencing baking your own senbei crackers and gold panning.  

     

    The programme includes a wide range of experiences for you to enjoy from local shops to food to culture to some new experiences. 

     An old-style café called Sabou Usagi is particularly popular with the locals. Here, the coffee is made using a vacuum coffee maker. With the summer programme, you can enjoy the delicious heart Tiramisù served here.

     

    The stroll map includes a variety of locations such as the Takayama Tourist Information Centre, Hida Takayama Tourism Convention Association, Hida Takayama Travel Hotel Association and much more. The map also includes some of the accommodations available around Takayama, some important train stations and much more. You can easily download this map from the official website. (Japanese only )  

     

    Stroll the Streets in an Elegant Yukata

    Change into a traditional Yukata that matches the beautiful surrounding townscape. There are four shops Yukata rental shops available to pick up your favourite Yukata, so there is no need to worry if you did not come prepared. There are also some accommodations that allow for yukata rental. 

    If you decide to join the Hida Takayama Nippon Natsu Yasumi programme, make sure to share your beautiful memories on Instagram with the hashtag #Hidasummer 

  • From Wine to Hydrangeas Taste the Regional Shaved Ice Flavours of Japan at Hoshino Resorts KAI

    10.July.2019 | FOOD

    Hoshino Resorts hot spring ryokan brand KAI is offering guests the opportunity to explore different regional shaved ice desserts that are served with delicious regional syrups and toppings. Shaved ice is a traditional summer dessert that was even mentioned in the famous work The Pillow Book, which was written by Sei Shonagon during her time as Empress Consort Teishi’s court lady during the 990s and early 1000s of the Heian period.

    The concept of KAI expresses both originality and the thirst for experimenting to make something new. The event offers a range of original flavours, embracing the Japanese tradition of eating flavoured shaved ice to battle the heat of summer. From wine-flavoured shaved ice in Nagano, to Hydrangea shaved ice at Hakone, this is the perfect opportunity to try a range of shaved ice desserts that are full of vibrant colours. These regional flavours are sure to spark your curiosity for discovery in that region. 

    Wine Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto (Asama Onsen, Nagano)

    The cone-shaped region of Kikyogahara, which is located next to Matsumoto city, is well known for its wine production. This area produces around 50 different kinds of Kikyogahara wine. The flavoured syrup for this shaved ice comes from concord grape wine sourced from Kikyogahara. Each porcelain bowl for the dessert is handmade. Customers can enjoy the smooth, rounded feel of the grape pattern on the bowl as they dig into their dessert. As the alcohol is burned out of the dish, even those who do not like alcohol can enjoy this mature dessert. From the carefully prepared wine syrup to the handmade bowl, you will be able to feel all the hard work put into the making of these luxurious desserts. This is the perfect way to cool off after a hot day.

    Hydrangea Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone

    Due to the altitude differences at Hakone, you can enjoy the beautiful hydrangeas for an even longer time than other areas of Japan. There is a Hydrangea train (Ajisai Densha) that runs up the mountains providing passengers with the beautiful view of blooming flowers, creating the perfect summer memories. Observing the large groups of flowers in full bloom fills you with such a refreshing feeling. Their beautiful colours are expressed in the colour of this hydrangea shaved ice.  

    Strawberry Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko (Chuzenji Onsen, Tochigi)

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    Tomato Flavoured Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso (Sonomoto, Oita)

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    Neputa Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru (Owani Onsen, Aomori)

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  • Kyoto is renowned for its historical architecture and richness in traditional Japanese culture, but did you know it’s also home to some extremely cute and delicious desserts? Their sweets and desserts are actually pretty popular, some of which contain motifs and little nods to the city.

     

    Today, Instagrammer meme takes us on a tour in Kyoto to try out 4 popular desserts.

     

    JEREMY&JEMIMAH

    JEREMY&JEMIMAH is a shop selling cute and colourful cotton candy. Their staple Wata-Hako cotton candy comes in 10 different flavours! In the photo we have yuzu, rose and matcha flavours. Of the two branches of the store, there is one along Furukawacho Shopping Street where you order your cotton candy for takeout, and another in Yasaka that serves cotton candy on long sticks.

    We picked up a few different ones since there are so many flavours and designs. It was fun lining them up to take a picture.

     

    We took them home to eat and they stayed nice and fluffy the whole way back. The yuzu one tasted a little herbal, like it was healthy for you.

     

    ▼JEREMY&JEMIMAH (Furukawacho Shopping Street Branch)

    Address: Furukawacho Shopping Street, 444-3 Hachikenchō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00

    Official Website: http://www.jeremyjemimah.com/

     

     

    ROCCA & FRIENDS TRUCK

    At ROCCA & FRIENDS TRUCK, you can order these iced dessert matcha and houjicha lattes which are topped with yatsuhashi―a confection sold in Kyoto―shaped into various sights across the city including Kyoto Tower, Hōkanji Temple, Daimonji, a Torii gate, and more.

     

    I ordered the matcha latte. The drink itself isn’t sweet at all so you can enjoy the full original rich and bitter flavour of the matcha. The fresh cream however is quite sweet so you can mix it into the drink as much as you want to get your desired flavour.

    There are lots of great spots in the area such as the Hōkanji Temple pagoda and Yasaka Shrine so  you can snap some great sightseeing photos♡

     

    ▼ROCCA & FRIENDS TRUCK

    Address: 370 Yasaka Kamimachi, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rocca.truck/

     

     

    Jumondo

    We also visited Jumondo which sells Kyoto-style dango, or “sweet dumplings.” We shared three different orders amongst three people: Danraku (団楽) which comes as a set with a drink, Dandan (だんだん) which comes with matcha, and Zenzai to Aburi Kuri Kinton (ぜんざいと炙り栗きんとん).

     

    Once you order, the dango are made fresh so are served hot and chewy. Each dumpling is on the small side so are nice and easy to eat.

     

    The Danraku comes with five different dumplings including sweet soy glaze, mashed sweet bean paste, soy sauce and black sesame seed, fried, and white miso. The Dandan comes with three types of your choice and a wafer filled with mashed sweet bean paste. The Zenzai to Aburi Kuri Kinton with mashed sweet potatoes with sweetened chestnut dango. The final one comes with matcha which can be served hot or cold.

     

    Everything was tasty but my personal favourite was the yuzu flavoured white miso dumpling.

    The one that everybody raved about was the Zenzai which is a thick soup that the dango are placed into. These dumplings are bigger, not too sweet and light. The soup went really well with the dango, it was super tasty.

     

    ▼Jumondo

    Address: 76 Tamamizuchō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

    TEL: 075-525-3733

    Official Website: http://jumondo.jp/index.html

     

     

    Kyo Yasaka Pudding

    Yasaka is a particularly popular tourist spot in Kyoto, and that’s where the cute purin shop Kyo Yasaka Pudding is located.

    Purin is a type of custard purring sold in Japan. The first pudding we picked up was the store’s recommended option named after the store itself, the Kyo Yasaka Pudding. It contains a transparent lemon and honey flavoured jelly inside which there are small and colourful agar agar balls and mango jelly balls.

     

    It has an enjoyable texture and a refreshing sweetness that I’ve never experienced before with other purin. It’s very tasty!

     

    There are five flavours to choose from, the others being hard, smooth, matcha and black soy bean, and houjicha black soy bean. All are served in tiny cute jars. Not only do they look great, they taste amazing too. Each is made with ingredients sourced in Kyoto including the milk, Uji matcha, houjicha, and black soy beans.

    They also sell soft serve ice cream topped with candy balls, very Kyoto-like! You can choose from vanilla, matcha, or a mix of both. I think it’ll be really fun if you can snap a photo of your ice cream with one of Yasaka’s stylish locations in the background! Speaking of which, there was a cute illustration on the wall of the store so we took our photo there.

     

    Be sure to pay a visit to Kyo Yasaka Pudding to pick up your own pudding whether as a souvenir or for yourself.

     

    ▼Kyo Yasaka Pudding

    Address: 87-4 Hoshinochō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    TEL: 075-533-8338

    Official Website: https://kyo-yasaka-pudding.co.jp/

     

     

    Kyoto is full of shops selling desserts and sweets perfect to walk around and munch on while you walk its ancient streets, or to take home as a souvenir. Enjoy all the tasty things you can during your visit to this beautiful city♡

     

    Photos/Text: meme

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • The New Kaga Onsen Hot Spring Town-Inspired Purin Shop Kaga no Yu Purin

    29.June.2019 | FOOD

    Kaga no Yu Purin is a new shop specialising in Japanese custard puddings, known in Japanese as ‘purin,’ that is inspired by Kaga Onsen―a collection of hot spring towns in Ishikawa Prefecture. It will open on June 29.

     

    The shop encourages people to experience Kaga Onsen’s ancient hot spring culture while enjoying their desserts made with fresh ingredients from Kaga such as milk and eggs. The shop itself too has that Japanese hot spring atmosphere to it.

    One of their standout purin is the Awa Purin (Bubble Pudding), the first purin in Japan to be inspired by the bubbles of hot springs. Not only is its appearance bubbly, the texture is too so it just melts on your tongue. Other purin flavours include strawberry, which are made with local strawberries, Kaga-bocha tea, and pumpkin.

    If you’re passing through the hot spring region of Kaga Onsen then be sure to treat yourself to one of these special purin.

  • 5 Must-Eat Purin From Kyoto Made With Local Ingredients

    12.May.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Purin is a type of Japanese custard pudding loved by kids and adults alike. Since they are cheap and simple to buy, they are often bought as souvenirs or picked up as a light snack. Though they are made simply of milk and eggs, the way they are made and the ingredients used as different from store to store.

     

    In this article we’ll take a look at 5 must-eat purin recommended by the Kyoto Prefecture regional information site KYOTO SIDE all made with ingredients sourced in the city itself. The cute jars they come in are a must-see too!

    “KIMIIRO” @ Kyotango – Colourful jam purin

    This tasty and decorative collection is sold at purin specialist shop EGGTONE which is produced by HISAMI. A total of six pastel-coloured purin make up the line. The peanut butter purin pictured on the far left is a new flavour that just arrived this spring. All of these jam purin are great options and can be enjoyed on their own, on bread or on hot cakes.

     

    “Maizuru Purin” @ Maizuru – The winner of the Special Award at the Purin Festival

    Bistro Arle is a little-known good bistro located in Maizuru where customers enjoy local seafood and Italian dishes. They also sell Maizuru Purin, a purin which won the Special Judge’s Award in 2016 and 2018 at the annual P-1 Grand Prix purin festival held in Fukui Prefecture. This rich purin is made with Akaiwa Kougen eggs from Maizuru and fresh cream from Hokkaido.

     

    “Hozugawa Fuwa Toro Sakura Purin Premium Umaremashits” @ Kameoka – A collaboration with Kyoto Seika University

    This local Kameoka purin was made in collaboration with Kyoto Seika University. It’s made with milk from Tamba, honey from Kameoka, and a type of domestic Japanese chicken called Sakura which has been fed rice from Tamba. While it has a strong flavour it has a texture that just melts in your mouth the moment it hits your tongue. It’s being sold for a limited-time only at Galleria Kameoka Rest Area.

     

    “Muracha Purin” @ Minamiyamashiro – Made with an abudance of local tea leaves

    Michi no Eki Ocha no Kyoto Minamiyamashiro-Mura opened in 2017. Their Muracha Purin is made solely with Okumidori tea from the village of Minamiyamashiro, the same region where Uji tea is made. The tea is boiled slowly to create a thick texture. And its bright green appearance is confirmation that only the freshest leaves are used. This is a serious treat for tea lovers!

     

    “Shiroi Hana Purin” @ Kyotango – A pure white purin that has just the right amount of sweetness

    This purin is sold at Chiisana Shiroi Hana, a hotel in Kyotango that sits on the bank of Kyoto’s widest lake Hanare Lake. It’s made with no eggs, just refreshing milk, fresh cream, and fromage blanc. The sweetness comes naturally from the milk and so isn’t overly-sweet, instead having a more gentle flavour.

     

    Pick up one of these luxurious purin whether as a small souvenir or as a treat to yourself!

  • Eat Snacks and Drink Sake in a Snowbound Tent Powered by an Electric Car in Nagano

    17.January.2019 | SPOT

    The Norikura Snow & Ice EV Snack event which began in 2017 is now being held for the second year in a row.

    This activity allows people to camp out in a tent deep in the snowy and silent region of Norikura Kogen. Snacks and sake are served on weekends. The tent is also powered by the Nissan e-NV 200 electric car which is both environmentally friendly and allows your tent to light up during the dark snowy evenings.

    Last year’s event was attended by many people from both inside and outside Nagano Prefecture, and it was particularly popular with those on their way back from ski trips. The activity ties in with the area’s new attention to night life. It’s a chance for both tourist and locals to come together and build closer bonds to the area.

    Enjoy a new outdoor winter activity lost in the snow in Nagano.

  • Kamakura Igloo Event to Take Place at Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru & Alps

    09.January.2019 | SPOT

    KAI―a line of hot spring hotels produced by Hoshino Resorts―is set to hold an event that makes use of kamakura igloos at Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru and Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps.

    Each branch of KAI offers the chance to experience the full charm of the local area to guests. The event taking place at KAI Tsugaru and KAI Alps will celebrate 2019 being a good new year with lots of lucky decorations adorning the area, sake offerings to the gods and more.

    During Japan’s Koshogatsu―or “Little New Year”―which takes place from January 14 to 16, altars are set up inside kamakura igloos where people offer sake and rice cakes to the god of water. The event taking place at KAI too will follow this tradition and make it even more festive by catering it to Tsugaru traditions like “zuguri” spinning tops and aburidashi which is writing done in invisible ink that appears when heated.

    KAI Tsugaru

    Going into more specifics of the events, over at KAI Tsugaru people will offer Joppari sake from Rokka, a local sake brewery, inside the igloos. A 2-meter all fan with a nebuta design will also decorate inside as it is said waving it will ward off evil. People will also be able to play with wooden zuguri spinning tops on top of the snow outside their igloo. This tradition is said to bring good fortune.

     

    When night falls magical golden lamps will line the snow and path to the igloos.

     

    Running: March 1, 2019 – March 7, 2019

    Time: 15:00-17:00

     

    KAI Alps

    Over at KAI Alps, decorative cocoons will be put up at the igloos in the courtyard to pray for abundant harvest. These cocoon decorations are generally spherical but at Alps they are changing things up by bringing in colourful waving cat and daruma designs.

     

    Omikuji―slips of paper that tell your fortune―will be given inside the kamakura. But these aren’t any regular omikuji. When taken out of the box they will appear blank. You must hold the paper close to the flame inside the igloo to see your fortune.

     

    At night, Hokuan Daikoku from a local sake brewery will be served to the gods from inside the igloos lit up with lanterns made from Japanese paper from Shinshu Matsusaki Washi.

     

    Running: February 4, 2019 – February 11, 2019

    Time: Omikuji – 15:00-17:00 / Sake Offering – 19:30-20:30

  • 5 Must-Visit Shrines Close to Central Tokyo

    31.December.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Japan is home to a lot of shrines. We have picked out 5 shrines you have to visit when travelling to Tokyo. All of them are close to the city centre, and not only are they easy to get to, each of them is also very famous.

     

    Shinjuku: Hanazono Shrine, an oasis in central Tokyo

    Hanazono Shrine is associated with food and agriculture, success, fortune, and family and company prosperity amongst other things. The closest station to it is Shinjuku-Sanchome Station where it is within mere seconds’ walking distance from the station’s E2 exit. An alternative route is from Shinjuku Station from which is just a 7-minute walk. The shrine is smack in the middle of Shinjuku and near the Shinjuku City Office and Shinjuku Golden Gai.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/134888

     

    ■Information

    Hanazono Shrine

    Address: 5-17-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo

    Shrine Office Times: 8:00-20:00

    Praying Times: 9:30-16:30

    TEL: 03-3209-5265

    Access: Seconds from E2 Exit of Shinjuku-Sanchome Station via Tokyo Metro Line / 7-minutes on foot from East Exit of Shinjuku Station via JR, Odakyu and Keio Lines

    Website: http://www.hanazono-jinja.or.jp

     

    Harajuku: Onsen Shrine, home to the Shinto god of Harajuku and tied to beauty and marriage prosperity

    Onden Shrine is located just a 10-minute walk from both Shibuya Station and Harajuku Station via the JR Yamanote Line or 7-minutes from Meiji-Jingumae Station via the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line. It has been enshrined in Harajuku for more than 400 years where it has watched over the area.

     

    Onden Shrine is a site for blessings in things like marriage and beauty. It offers a lot of keywords particularly favoured by girls, so it’s definitely one to visit.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/96403

     

    ■Information

    Onden Shrine

    Address: 5-26-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-3407-7036

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from “Shibuya Station” or “Harajuku Station” via the JR Yamanote Line / 7-minutes on foot from “Meiji-Jingumae Station” via the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line

    URL:http://www.ohmiya-hachimangu.or.jp/

     

    Azabu-Jūban: Azabu Hikawa Shrine, the Sailor Moon holy ground

    Azabu Hikawa Shrine which is located in the district of Azabu-Juban known for being referenced many times in the Sailor Moon series. The closest station is Azabu-Juban Station. Naoko Takeuchi, the author of Sailor Moon, actually lived in Azabu-Juban when the series was being serialised in Nakayoshi from 1991 to 1997. The shrine was used as a model for Hikawa Shrine where Rei, or Sailor Mars, worked as a shrine maiden.

     

    The shrine is seen as lucky for many reasons. People pray there for increased luck, business prosperity, warding off evil, better fortune, success in life, wealth, safe childbirth, protection against misfortune, academic achievement, exam success, family safety, marriage, national security, and more.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/118472

     

    ■Information

    Azabu Hikawa Shrine

    Address: 1-4-23 Motoazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
    Time: Shop 9:00am-5:00pm / Shrine 9:00am-4:30pm

    TEL: 03-3446-8796

    Access: 8-minutes on foot from Azabu-Juban Station via the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line or Toei Oedo Line

    Website: http://www.azabuhikawa.or.jp

     

    Kamiyachō: Atago Shrine, climb the stone steps for success in life

    You can reach Atago Shrine in 5 minutes by foot from Kamiyacho Station via the Hibiya Line or 8 minutes by foot from either Toranomon Station via the Ginza Line or Onarimon Station via the Toei Mita Line.

     

    The fire god Homusubi no Mikoto is the main deity enshrined at Atago Shrine who not only offers protection against fire and fire-related disasters, but brings good fortune to businesses and marriages too.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/80038

     

    ■Information

    Atago Shrine

    Address: 1-5-3 Atago, Minato, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-3431-0327

    Access: 5 minutes by foot from Kamiyacho Station via the Hibiya Line / 8 minutes by foot from either  Toranomon Station via the Ginza Line or Onarimon Station via the Toei Mita Line / 20 minutes by foot from JR Shimbashi Station

    Homepage: http://www.atago-jinja.com

     

    Asakusa: Imado Shrine, the birthplace of the ‘maneki-neko’ waving cat

    The closest station to Imado Shrine is Asakusa Station. It’s about a 15 minute walk from there, but you can reach it quicker on the Megurin Bus for just ¥100. The shrine is popular power spot for successful marriage. The god of wealth and longevity and one of Asakusa’s Seven Lucky Gods, Fukurokuju, is also enshrined here. The shrine is also recognised as one of Tokyo’s 8 Shitamachi shrines that people make a pilgrimage to.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/111527

     

    ■Information

    Imado Shrine

    Address: 1-5-22 Imado, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 9am-5pm

    TEL: 03-3872-2703
    Access: 15-minutes on foot from Asakusa Station / 5-minutes on foot from Asakusa 7-Chome bus stop (浅草七丁目) via Toei Bus / 1-minute on foot from ‘Riverside Sports Center’ bus stop (リバーサイドスポーツセンター前) via Kita Megurin Bus in Taito

    Website: http://imadojinja1063.crayonsite.net

     

    Did you enjoy our list? Remember, all of them are super easy to access from central Tokyo and from tourist hot spots, so be sure to make your own pilgrimage around each of them while in Tokyo.

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