Do you know what a Goshu-in is? Goshu-in is a seal stamp that can be obtained when you visit a Buddhist temple or a Shinto shrine. Each Goshu-in is hand prepared by a Monk (at Buddhist Temples) or by a Kannushi (at Shinto Shrines) on a “Goshu-in-cho” – a notebook specifically for Goshu-in made of traditional Japanese paper called Washi. Goshu-in generally includes a large red stamps (representing the unique insignia of the temple or shrine), together with the date of your visit and name of the temples or shrine, hand written in traditional Japanese calligraphy. Since each Goshu-in is unique and carries an artistic quality – whether it be the intricacy of the insignia stamps or the beautiful calligraphy – Goshu-in collection is gaining popularity among some young enthusiasts.
Today, we visited the Hie shrine in Tokyo with Mei Nagasawa.
Hie Shrine is located in Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. The primary Shinto deity enshrined is Ohoyamakuhi no Kami (the god of Mountains and Fertility). Other well-known gods such as Kunino Tokotachi no Kami are also enshrined here. The Hie shrine is famous for hosting the annual Sanno Festival in June, one of the big-three Edo Festivals.
The deities of Hie are said to provide good fortunes, specifically – healthy pregnancy, safe delivery of baby, children’s wellbeing, safe travel, among others.
3 minute walk from the Tameike Sanou station.
5 minute walk from the Kokai Gijidomae or Akasaka Mitsuke stations.
Tokyo Tower is also close so it’s perfect for tourists.
A “Power Spot” in the City!
Hie Shrine is a sanctuary nestled within the office buildings of Nagatacho. It’s conveniently located and easily accessible for anyone visiting Tokyo. Hie Shrine has become a popular destination for tourists from outside of Japan, and also for those who are seeking to find one of the many “Power Spots” in Japan!
Let us go pay our respects now!
1) First Bow
One deep bow before entering the Keidai. The bow is meant to show respect to the gods before we enter their holy realm. This manner applies to all Shinto Shrines – always start with a deep bow at the gate!
Purify the hands and mouth with water from a dedicated fountain called Temizuya. Mei looks like she has this process down!
3) To the Honden and Shinden
The Shinden is finely decorated using reds, greens and purples as base colors. Hie shrine is so popular, even in the morning, it appears a lot of people are visiting the shrine. With a five yen coin in our hand, off we go to make our prayers!
4) The Path to Sanou Inarijinjya
Sanou Inarijinjya is another shrine located within the Hie shrine area. It’s truly an out-of-this-world experience walking through the vermillion red Torii gates, all lined up. Since Mei grew up around another Inarijinjya, it appears she was always interested in visiting the Sanou Inarijinjya.
After the Sanpai (praying before the altar), let’s get the Goshuin. After making a small “donation” at the reception area, you’ll receive a ticket/number that will be called when ready.
Mei’s friends encouraged her to collect Goshuin after seeing Mei visit so many different shrines and temples – and it appears that’s how collecting Goshuin started for her.
It felt fantastic to start off the morning with prayers at the Hie shrine. It’s going to be a great day! One step inside, Hie Shrine is an oasis that will melt away the hustle and bustle of the city life. It might just be a fine idea to start the day with a prayer, at one of the few true sanctuaries, right in the middle of Tokyo’s city center!
Model：Mei Nagasawa ＠xxmeixx1208 /Instagram
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