【Tokyo Stroll】Getting a ‘Goshuin’ at Tokyo Daijingu—Japan’s shrine for successful marriages

27.December.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

In this edition of Tokyo Stroll we head to a Japanese shrine, often dubbed a ‘power spot’ where one can uplift their energy and spirit. It’s also a place where you can get a ‘goshuin,’ a special type of stamp obtainable at many temples and shrines around Japan. Today, Ellie takes us to Tokyo Daijingu, a 19th century shrine hugely popular with women as a power spot for love & relationships. Let’s go!

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Tokyo Daijingu is easily accessible from all parts of the city by train. The closest station is Iidabashi Station which is linked to the JR Chuo-Sobu Line, the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho, Namboku and Tozai Lines, and the Toei Ōedo Line. If you’re up for a longer stroll, then you’ll be happy to know that this area is a popular tourist spot complete with Tokyo Dome City, Koishikawa-Kōrakuen and more, so be sure to have a walk around and check out the area.

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Tokyo Daijingu was originally constructed in Hibiya and was popularly known by the name Hibiya Daijingu. After the Great Kantō Earthquake struck in 1923, it was moved to where it sits now and was renamed Tokyo Daijingu after the Second World War. Enshrined at Tokyo Daijingu are the deities Amaterasu-Sume-Okami and Toyouke-no-Okami, as well as 3 deities responsible for the creation and growth of all things, which has brought Tokyo Daijingu great value as a shrine for love, relationships and weddings.

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A frequently asked question when visiting shrines is how to maintain proper etiquette when it comes to ‘temizu,’ a process of cleansing one’s hands and mouth before entering a shrine. There are people who tend to ignore the process, but cleansing your mind and body the ‘temizuya’ (water basin) is key etiquette in Japan before worshipping at a shrine.

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Firstly, hold the ladle in your right hand, scoop up some water and rinse your left hand.

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Then do the same swapping both hands – hold with your left and rinse your right.

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Afterwards, take the ladle in your right hand once more, pour some water into your left hand and rinse your mouth with it. Make sure not to bring the ladle to your mouth and don’t swallow the water.

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Spit the water next to the fountain – never directly into it. Rinse your left hand one more time.

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Lastly, take the ladle with both your hands and pour out the remaining water from it next to the fountain. Once your ‘temizu’ session is complete, return the ladle neatly to its original upside-down position so it’s ready for the next person to use. The origins of temizu note that people would cleanse themselves at the surrounding rivers and spring waters before entering the shrine precincts. Today, however, there are concerns about the quality of the water in rivers as well as the guarantee of true spring water. The ‘temizuya’ was introduced to replace them.

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Tokyo Daijingu is famous for being the first shrine to establish the Shinto wedding ceremony in Japan. In 1900, the Crown Prince Yoshihito, who later went on to become Emperor Taishō, married at Tokyo Daijingu in front of the imperial sanctuary gods. Since then, it has come to be a location where the common people hold Shinto weddings.

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The time has finally come – let’s go get our goshuin at the reception located to the left of the shrine! The first stamp costs ¥300.

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By the reception are lots of cute ‘omikuji’ (fortune slips) lined up, so be sure to get your hands on one when you visit to have your fortune told. They are also famous for their marriage blessings. And if you’re coming from overseas, then do not fear as the omikuji are also written in English.

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The omikuji are self-service, so pay your donation into the box and take out a slip while thinking about what fortune you want.

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Ellie also prayed for marriage and chose a ‘love’ omikuji. She received a ‘chu-kichi’ blessing! Omikuji are ranked by blessings: there’s dai-kichi (great blessing), kichi (blessing), chu-kichi (middle blessing), sho-kichi (small blessing), sue-kichi (ending blessing), kyo (curse) and so on. No matter what blessing you receive they are words from god, so make note of their contents and work with them in your daily activities.

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Tokyo Daijingu is a power spot and that is especially so at the sacred tree. Mini waterfalls murmur here, making it a relaxing place to heal yourself.

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While we’re here, let’s also take a look at the proper etiquette for praying at a shrine! When there’s an offertory box at a shrine you must first offer a donation. Then, once you’re relaxed, you can begin with the bowing.

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Firstly, perform two deep bows at a 90°angle.

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Bring both hands to your chest and open them up shoulder-width apart. Clap twice.

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Keep your hands together and pray. Be sure to give gratitude for the everyday things in your prayer.

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Once you have finished praying, bring your hands down and perform one last deep bow. Be sure you don’t forget that final bow. This is the most common form of etiquette for praying at a Japanese shrine. It’s easy, just remember: 2 bows, 2 claps, 1 bow. It’s the most common form of prayer at any shrine so be sure to have it memorized before you go to pray.

 

Tokyo Daijingu can be accessed from also anywhere in the heart of Tokyo. The shrine grounds have a peaceful atmosphere and are a perfect breather after praying. Make it your first shrine visit of the year and make a wish for you and your loved one.

 

■Information

Tokyo Daijingu

Address: 2-4-1 Fujimi, Chiyoda, Tokyo

Opening Hours: 6:00-21:00

Contact: 03-3262-3566

Access: 5-minutes by foot from “Iidabashi Station” via the JR Chuo-Sobu Line, Tokyo Metro Yurakucho, Namboku and Tozai Lines, and the Toei Ōedo Line

URL:http://www.tokyodaijingu.or.jp

 

Outfit
L/S Tshirt:¥4,320 / MA-1:¥13,651 /  Corduroy trousers:¥12,787

※All taxes included(Aymmy in the batty girls)

 

Model: Ellie

Writer:Ryoichi Komaba

Photograph:Haruka Yamamoto

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Tokyo Stroll: Atago Shrine—worship the fire god at Ninuri Gate and receive a goshuin

    06.December.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Shrines in Japan are considered a ‘power spot’ which means they are overflowing with energy and healing properties. They’re also a place where you can receive a very special stamp known as a goshuin. Today, Ellie will take us on a stroll to Atago Shrine, a fantastic tourist destination that is easily accessible from Roppongi.

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    Atago Shrine is a great place for people to stop by during their work break due to its easy accessibility. You can reach the 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. If you’re up for a real stroll then you can reach Atago Shrine in 20 minutes by walking from JR Shimbashi Station.

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    The first thing you will see upon arriving at Atago Shrine is the towering set of stone steps which go by the name Shusse no Ishidan. A samurai called Magaki Heikuro is known for having gallantly ascended the flight of steps on horseback during the Edo period. It’s quite a challenge to climb the stairs quickly, but it’s a good idea to try as the stairs are symbolic of climbing the ladder to success in life, so be sure to give it a go! But do not fear as there is an elevator for anybody unable to ascend the steps.

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    Atago Shrine is located atop Mount Atago, the highest mountain of Tokyo’s 23 wards at an altitude of 25.7m. It was formerly a place where many people would gather to look out over the mountain where one can see Tokyo Bay and even the Bōsō Peninsula.

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    The red gate at Atago Shrine (pictured above) is known as Ninuri no Mon, or “red painted gate.” Arranged on various sections of the gate is the aoi-mon crest, a familiar symbol with Mito Kōmon. The Atago Shrine was built on the order of Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603 to enshrine a deity of fire protection.

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    Before praying at the shrine, you must first purify yourself by washing your hands and mouth at the water basin. Initial cleansing of yourself is the proper etiquette to praying at a shrine.

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    In front of the shrine is a maneki-ishi (beckoning stone). It is said that if you stroke the stone you will be blessed with good fortune. So many people have touched the stone that the surface has become smooth!

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    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.

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    Another hidden wonder of Atago Shrine are the many cute animals that roam around. Photographed above is Tina-chan, a dog based at the shrine offers who watches over visitors to the shrine. They also offer omamori, or ‘charms’ for your pet, so if you’re an animal lover then make sure to drop by the shrine office.

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    There are many other animal guests besides Tina. There are 3 cats that used to be lost who now roam around various places at the shrine grounds during the day. Those who encounter them might be a lucky few. If you can’t find them then you should wait for feeding time at 9am and 5pm – you’ll meet them much easier this way.

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    There’s also a huge healing pond home to lots of koi carp looked after by the shrine staff that are sure to raise your spirits!

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    Here we are at last, the main event—receiving a goshuin (shrine/temple stamp) in our goshuincho (stamp book). It costs a ¥300 donation to receive one here (this is the common price).

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    You can receive special inscriptions in your goshuincho at Atago Shrine during certain events such as the Nanakusa Hotaki Matsuri in January and Sennichi Mairi Hoozuki Ennichi at the end of June.

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    This is an Inari shrine where Uganomitamanokami is enshrined. People worship this guardian deity for the protection of the necessities of daily life and agriculture.

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    There’s also a Benzaiten shrine to worship Ikichishihime-no-Mikoto, a god that brings luck of economic fortune, so can be prayed to for either a thriving business or a successful career.

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    Atop the apex of the highest mountain in Tokyo’s 23 wards you will find healing nature in lavish abundance, so much so that you will completely forget you are even in the city! The NHK Museum of Broadcasting is also close by, another recommended tourist spot to consider after visiting Atago Shrine. The shrine is associated with good fortune when it comes to success in life and business, so if you’re an adult and working full time, why not stop by for a visit?

     

     

    ■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

     

     

    Outfit

    Frill Blouse – ¥13,824 / Sailor Melton Coat – ¥32,184 / NIGHT SCHOOL Pleated Skirt – ¥18,144 / LILLY Beret – ¥6,264

    *all prices include tax (Aymmy in the batty girls)

     

     

     

    Model:  Ellie

    Writer: Ryoichi Komaba

    Photograph: Haruka Yamamoto

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】Kill some time at tourist spots around Narita Airport during your flight layover

    08.November.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Many people find themselves with a lot of free time when at Narita Airport, whether in transit or going back home, and must find things to fill the time with. In this edition of Tokyo Stroll, we take a look at some of the best tourist spots around Narita Airport to fill your time with if you find yourself in this situation.

     

    From visiting temples to buying souvenirs, the surroundings of Narita offer a range of exciting things to make those long hours fly by! Let’s take a stroll together with Yuna Yabe and Eri to see some of the wonderful sights.

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    Visit “Naritasan Shinshoji Temple” just 10-minutes from the airport by train

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    If you have a spare 2 or so hours to kill then Naritasan Shinshoji Temple is a great location to stop by. Simply board the Limited Express train from Narita Airport via the Keisei Main Line and get off at Keisei Narita Station. The journey is just 10 minutes. What greets you as you approach the shrine is a 15 meter high gate constructed from keyaki wood. Many people enter through this gate to go and worship at the main building.

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    As Yuna and Eri walked toward the main building through the Niomon Gate they came to the Nioike Pond where turtle-shaped rocks were poking out of the water. There were lots of turtles sunbathing on top of the rocks. Legend says that if you throw a coin onto one of the rocks and a turtle goes onto the same rock your wish will be granted. You can see lots of coins on the rocks.

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    Once you pass the pond and climb the stairs you will arrive at Naritasan Shinshoji Temple’s main building.

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    The Goma Ceremony has been practiced at the temple every single day since its founding. People’s prayers are offered to Fudomyoo in front of a fire to fulfill people’s worries and wishes. After praying, Yuna and Eri received a temple seal for their goshuincho temple seal notebook.

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    They also got their hands on an omikuji each. They opened it up, and… both of them received “Great Blessing,” the best fortune you can receive from an omikuji! The omikuji have English written on the back too, so be sure to flip yours over if you can’t read Japanese.

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    Naritasan Shinshoji Temple also has a number of designated important cultural properties, so there’s plenty of amazing architecture to see if you visit. If you’ve got some spare time while in transit, then how about taking some time to learn some Japanese history?

     

    ■Information

    Naritasan Shinshoji Temple

    Address: 1 Narita, Narita, Chiba

    Access: 10-minutes’ walk from Keisei Narita Station via the Keisei Main Line

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

     

    Get souvenirs at the AEON Mall only available in Japan!

    While you can get your hands on souvenirs at the airport, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that most people want something sold only in Japan such as snacks or other little trinkets. The next spot we’re taking a look at is the Narita branch of the AEON Mall. You can get a direct bus there from Narita Airport. Buses also leave from Keisei Narita Station, the closest station to Naritasan Shinshoji Temple.

     

    The AEON Mall has it all – clothes shops, entertainment facilities, sundries, food and more. It’s perfect for shopping with friends or having fun together with your family at the entertainment services. It’s equipped with just about anything for anyone to enjoy.

     

    We recommend doing your souvenir shopping at AEON Mall. And what better to spend your money on that Japanese snacks!

     

    Yuna’s Recommended Snack

    The most popular snack bought by travelers is the baumkuchen cake. It’s packed with just the right amount of sweetness. You can get a full, uncut cake in its distinct round shape, or you can get individual cut pieces in bags.

     

    Eri’s Recommended Snack:

    One of the big snacks to buy from Japan is matcha flavoured Kit Kat. You can get this and many other flavours of Kit Kat at the AEON Mall. There are even limited edition seasonal flavours that are sold with the changing seasons, so make sure to be on the look out.

     

    Besides snacks, cosmetics are another popular item. The AEON Mall is lined with a string of different brands who also offer testers of their products. There are plenty of affordable items to find in the line-up perfect as a gift to a friend. The best way to find something you like is to just get in there.

     

    People from all over the world visit the AEON Mall in Narita so there are duty free counters. It’s possible to get tax exemption from items purchased in the mall. There’s a counter near the 1st floor beauty products corner so make sure to head there once you’ve bought something.

     

    ■Information

    AEON Mall Narita

    Address: 24 Uingutsuchiya, Narita, Chiba

    Website: https://www.welcome-aeon.com/

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    After a long day of sightseeing and shopping, we’re back at Narita Airport. Did you enjoy seeing some of the tourist spots around the airport?

     

    Narita Airport also offers the Transit & Stay Program for people who have long layovers, so be sure to check it out and make the most of your time there.

    Models:Yuna Yabe / Eri

    Photos:Kayo Sekiguchi

    Writer:Sayuri Mizuno (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator:Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

  • 【Tokyo Stroll 】A power spot at the heart of Tokyo? Go to the Meiji Shrine and get “Goshuin”

    12.July.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) is just a short walk from Harajuku station. Those who visit the shrine at New Year boast that it is the best shrine in the whole of Japan. The shrine proudly holds its reputation as a famous tourist spot, originally built to honour the spirits of the Meiji Emperor and his wife Empress Dowager Shoken.

    Walking around the busy city, you really would not expect to suddenly encounter such a deep forest that contains a majestic shrine. The location also offers a famous well that is the perfect power spot, and many cafés that will make your heart glow with warmth. Join Elly-chan as she explores the wonderful city oasis of Meiji Shrine.

     

    Starting point: Café Morinoterasu (社のテラス)

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    Just a one-minute walk from JR Harajuku station or Tokyo Metro Meiji Jingu-ma station lies the glorious Meiji Shrine. You can also easily access the shrine from Shibuya as it is just one stop away. Here, at the heart of the city, you’ve finally reached a calm oasis. It’s no surprise that it’s a popular tourist spot.

    Morinoterasu café is located before the large and mighty Meiji Shrine torii gate, which is the first gate that leads to the shrine. The café is united with nature and will sweep you away with peace and tranquility. This is the first stop for our adventure!

     

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    You can feel the warmth of the trees inside the café. The counters and chairs were made from old, withering trees on the shrine grounds. Japanese zelkova wood, evergreen oak, Japanese oak, camphorwood or wood from a sakura tree?

    Look out for the names of the types of trees used to make the furniture as they are discreetly carved into the wood.

     

     

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    The menu includes Morinoterasu’s special limited éclairs and croissants that are prepared every day for the famous Meiji Kinenkan (Meiji Memorial Hall). These make for the perfect light snack.

    Before or after exploring the shrine, extend the exploration to your taste buds! How about treating yourself to a thirst-quenching cup of coffee or a soft drink, or the creative tofu milk gelato?

     

    The symbol of Meiji Shrine: The Otorii

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    Enter the Harajuku entrance and you will be faced with the second shrine entrance – a large, wooden myojin-torii . (Large shrine gate) This is the symbol of Meiji Shrine.

    Being Japan’s largest shrine gate, there’s no wonder that the countless numbers of visitors taking commemoration photos here never die out. Japanese Cypress tree bark was used to make the torii shrine gate 1,500 years ago. Take a closer look and you’ll be blown away!

     

     

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    Enter the Harajuku entrance and you will be faced with the second shrine entrance – a large, wooden myojin-torii . (Large shrine gate) This is the symbol of Meiji Shrine. Being Japan’s largest shrine gate, there’s no wonder that the countless numbers of visitors taking commemoration photos here never die out.

    Japanese Cypress tree bark was used to make the torii shrine gate 1,500 years ago. Take a closer look and you’ll be blown away!

     

     

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    As soon as visitors arrive at the shrine, they are greeted with a poem created by the Meiji Emperor, which is posted for all to see. The true elegance of Japanese culture can be felt through the words. Usually, shrines have boxes of “omikuji”, from which visitors are invited to pull out a strip of paper. Each of these paper strips contains a unique fortune such as “kichi” which means “lucky”, or “daikichi” which is even luckier!

    These are followed by a commentary. However at Meiji Shrine, these are replaced by poems written by the Meiji Emperor and Empress Dowager Shoken in order to honour their spirits.

     

    >>next page  Go to the power spot

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】 Lost in a world of shrine arches and lucky sand! Head to Anamori Inari Shrine near Haneda airport!

    31.May.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

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    Anamori Inari Shrine is located near Haneda Airport. Many visit Anamori Inari Shrine to pray for success in business, or for safe travels. This is one of the many places where one may honor Oinari-san (the god of wealth, harvests and fertility). The sand at the shrine is believed to bring good luck. Take some home and scatter it to bring good fortune in business or for good health. Many visitors return home from this Shrine with this sand. We took a walk to this shrine with Elly-chan to discover its long-lasting history and traditional culture.

     

    Anamori Inari Shrine’s mascot – “Kon-chan”

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    Anamori Inari Shrine is located approximately 2 kilometres away from Haneda Airport. The nearest station to the shrine is Anamori Inari station, which is a 3-minute ride on the Keihin Kyuko line (Keikyu line) from Haneda Airport International Terminal station. If you’re in Shibuya, change to the Keihin Kyuko airport line (Keikyu airport line) at Shinagawa station. The journey is approximately 20 minutes.

     

    Exit Anamori Inari station and you will notice the cute fox mascot “Kon-chan” waiting for you. As the locals commute to work or school and as the tourists go by, Kon-chan watches over all of them, bringing them warmth. Throughout the seasons and on special occasions, the stone statue of Kon-chan is dressed in stylish clothes, which we’ve heard were made by the locals by hand.

     

    The hall of worship protected by a large shrine archway and a fox

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    Anamori Inari has a history dating back to the year 1818. The shrine was built to protect Haneda, which was once flooded. The shrine was once located within the premises of Haneda airport before ww2, but it was moved after the war to a nearby location, as many of the locals were forced to move. The large shrine archway we see at Haneda airport today originally belonged to the old Anamori Inari shrine. Even to this day, as if the shrine archway protects the surrounding area.

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    There are foxes both on the left and right side of the hall of worship. These foxes greet the visitors. Look to the left and you will be greeted by a male fox. Look to the left and you will see a female fox embracing a baby. Looking closely at their faces reveals their impressive expressions.

     

    Receive a cute fox stamp book

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    We visited the Juyosho, which is the building that sells temple goods. Here, we bought a stamp book. The design was an orange undertone and cute image of a fox. The ceremony fee costs ¥1,500 and to receive a shrine stamp in your stamp book costs ¥300.

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    The gorgeous stamp is a sign of worship. When you receive one, first join hands and pay your respects to the shrine.

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    There are many items available for purchase at the Juyosho, such as fox “Tsukaihime” and “Anamamori”, which bring good fortune. There is also a small charm you can purchase which will provide you with a safe flight – a charm that holds historical value with Haneda Airport and can only be purchased here.

     

    >>next page

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Experience Japanese Culture from Anywhere with Kanda Myojin Shrine’s Virtual Space

    09.June.2022 | SPOT

    Kanda Myojin Shrine dates back over 1,270 years, making it one of the most well-known religious sites in Tokyo. Dai Nippon Printing is now making it possible for interested visitors to experience the site from anywhere in the world, unveiling the Kanda Myojin CG Space this week. Developed with approval from the shrine, the virtual space faithfully reproduces the structure and design of the location using 3D laser measurement technology and CG techniques developed by DNP over many years. The space will be open online to all audiences.

     

    A portion of the work from the Masayuki Kojo 10th Anniversary Exhibition currently behind held on-site at Kanda Myojin from June 4 until July 10 will also be available to view in the CG space. The space will also be linked to ‘Virtual Akihabara,’ developed by DNP in conjunction with the AKIBA Tourism Council. Using XR (Extended Reality), the company hopes to develop a wide variety of new communication styles.

     

    The Kanda Myojin CG Space was created by using DNP’s laser measurement technology to recreate three-dimensional objects. By using high-definition photography and photogrammetry technology, images of objects are taken from many angles, creating a realistic 3DCG space to explore. The structure of the shrine, which was rebuilt in 1934 after being damaged in the Great Kanto Earthquake, has been faithfully reproduced in every way.

    In conjunction with events held at the Kanda Myojin Museum, the Kanda Myojin CG Space will make the history of Kanda Myojin and its collection of materials, including rare ukiyo-e prints, available online for anyone to access. Through these exhibits, people both in Japan and abroad can experience Edo culture through their web browsers!

  • Ryusenji Temple Offering Gorgeous Paper-Cut Summer Goshuin Shrine Seals with a Wish for Peace

    03.June.2022 | SPOT

    Ryusenji Temple in Saitama is offering some exclusive summer goshuin! Goshuin are stamps or seals given to worshippers at shrines and temples around Japan, where somebody will stamp your goshuin-cho (stamp book) with the site’s unique seal along with the temple’s name and the day you visited handwritten in ink.

     

    The two new goshuin feature summer fireworks and a cooling fan design. These will be available from June 1 until August. They might sell out, though, so be quick!

     

    Summer Exclusive Paper-Cut Overlaid Goshuin: Fireworks and a Wish for Peace


    The Fireworks and a Wish for Peace
    goshuin use five kinds of paper to depict fireworks in the summer night sky.


    Fireworks are a popular summer tradition in Japan. It’s said that fireworks were born following the discovery of gunpowder and its use in guns when some decided to use the substance to make something beautiful rather than use it as a weapon. 


    Because of this, many see fireworks as a symbol of peace. The current war between Russia and Ukraine has seen gunpowder used as a horrific weapon used to end the lives of many innocent people, and this special goshuin was made in the hopes that the war will come to an end as soon as possible. Gunpowder should be used in fireworks to bring people happiness instead.

    Summer Exclusive Paper-Cut Overlaid Goshuin: Refreshing Good Luck Charm

    The Refreshing Good Luck Charm shows a traditional Japanese summer scene with a fan and goldfish swimming in clear blue water.

     

    Fans are used by many Japanese to keep cool during the summer months, and some are even said to have the power to ward off illness and evil spirits. Goldfish are often seen during summer festivals, where visitors try to scoop them up using an easily-breakable net in a fun game with family and friends.

     

    Goldfish became popular during the Edo period and were considered to be lucky creatures capable of bringing happiness into one’s home and bringing financial fortune. 

    If you’re heading to Saitama, why not add these intricate goshuin to your book?

  • Former Toride Inn Honjin Someno Family Residence in Toride City, Ibaraki Prefecture Offering Special Seal for Visitors

    30.May.2022 | SPOT

    Toride City in Ibaraki Prefecture began heavily developing during the Edo Period as a strategic town on the Mito Kaido road. The symbol of the town is the Former Toride Inn Honjin Someno Family Residence, designated as a prefectural cultural property and historic site. This stunning building will now be open to the public starting June 3, 2022! 

     

    In Japan, fans of temples and shrines often collect Goshuin. These are beautiful handwritten shrine seals collected in a special book, and they have recently become popular with younger generations. The first ‘honjin goshuin’ in Japanese history will be available at the Former Toride Inn!

     

    A honjin was an inn for government officials, generally located in post stations during the later part of the Edo period. In Toride, the Someno Family Residence was designated as the main honjin for use by the Mito Tokugawa family in 1687. Since then, successors of the Mito Tokugawa family and many other feudal lords and samurai traveling between Edo and Mito used the location as a place to rest.

     

    Of the three remaining honjin on the Mito Kaido road, the Former Toride Inn Honjin Someno Family Residence is the oldest and largest in scale. Today, it is also the only one with both the grounds and interior open to the public. With deep ties to the Mito Tokugawa family and Yoshinobu Tokugawa, the last shogun of the Edo Shogunate, it remains an incredible historical site.

     

    Former Toride Inn Honjin Someno Family Residence Information (Released October 1, 2021)

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKHGJsztC0Q

     

    Visitors can obtain two honjin goshuin: one features an illustration of the main building, while the other features the seal of the Someno Family Residence. 

  • A Sneak Peek at Sebastian Masuda’s ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ Exhibition at Kanda Myojin Shrine

    01.December.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    The Godfather of Kawaii Sebastian Masuda will open his ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ exhibition at the 1,300-year-old Kanda Myojin Shrine on December 4, 2021. A number of Masuda’s representative works will be on display at the historical site, known as one of the most important shrines during the Edo period. 

     

    Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare-

    Kanda Myojin Shrine

     

    Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare- has been shown in New York, Milan, and Amsterdam over the past few years, and will now make an appearance as part of this exhibition. Given the magnificence of the venue, the work will be presented in a unique way–in the basement of the shrine. In addition, a part of the research on Kawaii culture conducted in collaboration with Kyoto University of Arts Ultra Factory will be on display as well. Guests will be invited to ponder the nature of Kawaii, and what makes it so beloved by audiences worldwide.


     

    Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK-

    Time After Time Capsule Art Project

    Kawaii Archival Research

     

    Near the entrance to the shrine, the Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK will be on display. Clad in the cutest colors imaginable, it has become a symbol of Harajuku around the world. The Hello Kitty-shaped time capsule, which was on display for five months in New York City in 2015, will also be shown on the temple grounds. The participatory art project has made it to 12 cities around the world so far. 

     

    Kawaii culture will blend with traditional Japanese culture during this exhibition, so keep an eye out for more details coming soon!

     

    What is ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art?’ 

    Sebastian Masuda has been at the helm of the global Kawaii movement for decades. 

     In 2020, Masuda asked a number of questions to fans of Japanese pop culture around the world–what is Kawaii? Why does Kawaii cross borders, generations, and gender? This new exhibition tries to find an answer to those questions while bringing some joy and excitement to the local community. 

  • Imabari is a city in Ehime Prefecture that faces the Seto Inland Sea. Since olden times, it has flourished as an important location for marine traffic. It’s home to a bounty of recognised national treasures and historical heritage sights, and is also famous for its production of citrus fruits such as mikan. Japanese pop star, model, and icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took a trip to this ancient city to discover its wonder and beauty.

     

    A Visit to the Historical Sea Route

     

     

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    A ‘power spot’ revered by prominent people

    Oyamazumi Shrine has been revered by prominent figures throughout history as a place dedicated to the god of the mountain, god of the ocean, and the god of war. It’s home to numerous Important Cultural Properties which are available for viewing by the public such as the armour worn by the military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune when the Minamoto clan won the Genpei War (1180-1185), armour worn by women, and more. The shrine is also a notable power spot for the ancient tree that has stood there for 2,600 years and is now recognised as a natural monument of Japan. Power spots are places in Japan where the spiritually-inclined draw energy from.

     

    Information

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    Address: 3327 Omishimacho Miyaura, Imabari, Ehime 794-1393, Japan

    TEL: 0897-82-0032

    Opening Hours: Sunrise to 17:00

    National Treasure Building: 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)

    Official Website: https://oomishimagu.jp/

     

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Lip-smacking food aplenty

    If you’re one for great views, then the Kurushima Kaikyo service area is a must-visit, offering a panoramic look at the Kurushima Strait of the Seto Inland Sea. The service area is very well know particularly for the Jaguchi Mikan Juice, something of a city legend in Ehime where you can enjoy fresh mikan juice straight from a tap. You can also tuck a rice bowl dish made with tachiuo hairtail caught in the Seto Inland Sea that’s made to look like Kurushima Kaikyō Bridge, or try Imabari’s soul food dish: the Imabari Yakibuta Tamago Meshi, a pork, egg, and rice bowl. Don’t pass up the chance to snap a photo at the designated photo spot with the Seto Inland Sea in the back either like Kyary above.

     

    Information

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Address: 3-9-68 Ohamacho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0002, Japan

    Food Court: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Shops: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Outside Shopping Area & Cafes: [Weekdays] 9:00-17:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 9:00-18:00

    Official Website: https://www.jb-highway.co.jp/sapa/kurushima.php

     

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Dedicated to the Imabari heroes who protected the ocean


    Murakami Suigun Museum is dedicated to kaizoku—pirates, or lords of the sea—something which conjures to mind villainy or bad guys, but the Murakami pirates were also considered heroes who helped maintain order and protect the sea during the Sengoku warring period of Japan. The museum features many displays of Murakami family treasures including the battle surcoat which the pirate leader wore over his armour, proudly bearing the Murakami family crest. Visitors can wear replicas of this coat, which Kyary tired herself: “Now I’m sorta like a military commander too,” she said.

     

    Information 

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Address: 1285 Miyakubocho Miyakubo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2203, Japan
    TEL: 0897-74-1065

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / New Year Holidays (Dec 29-Jan 3)

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/suigun/

     

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    A bundle of fun and entertainment in one place

    Roll on up to Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan to enjoy a shichirin BBQ feast with fresh seafood caught in the Seto Inland Sea while gazing out across Kurushima Kaikyo. This building complex serves as a resting spot and is also the perfect place to purchase local souvenirs including Ehime specialty products. It’s also famous for its offering the chance to board a boat to ride around Kurushima Kaikyo, renting out bicycles, and more. You’ll also be able to meet Koro-chan, a popular fish who has lived there for 30 years.

     

    Information

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    Address: 4520-2 Yoshiumichomyo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2114, Japan

    TEL: 0897-84-3710

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Restaurant: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:00)

    Closed: New Year’s Day (and certain days in winter)

    Official Website: http://www.imabari-shimanami.jp/ikiiki/

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Meet the cute and friendly dolphins

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami, which is connected to Hakata Beach, is the best and biggest place in Japan to interact with dolphins. Visitors can get close to them and the dolphins will show off their tricks and skills. There’s even a car camping area you can stay at.

     

    Information

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Address: 1673 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    TEL: 0897-72-8787

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: On days with bad weath

    Official Website: https://www.df-shimanami.com/

     

    Hakata Beach

    A white sandy beach rolling out 200-meters 

     

     

    Hakata Beach is located at the base of Oshima Bridge in Hakata. The beach is famous for its salt which is best tried on their popular sweet-tasting sea salt ice cream.

     

    Information

    Hakata Beach

    Address: 1668-1 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    Sea Bathing: Early July – Late August

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=198

     

    Imabari Towels

    High quality towels woven with tradition and technique

     

    Imabari is the biggest producer of towels in Japan. Even their white towels alone have countless types you can choose from, allowing you to pick which level of softness and comfort you want. The iconic brand logo is also impactful, capturing the quality, production, and enthusiasm that the makes have for the product. Kyary herself uses them all the time!

     

    Information 

    Imabari Towel

    Official Website: https://www.imabaritowel.jp/

     

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Need a bike?

    Sunrise Itoyama, located in the Imabari Central Cycling Terminal, is a rental bicycle service that has bikes and helmets for everyone’s needs. Rent out a bike and ride the Shimanami Sea Route which connects Ehime and Hiroshima with a series of bridges that hop across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

     

    Information 

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Address: 2-8-1 Sunabacho, Imabari, Ehime 794-0001, Japan

    TEL: 0898-41-3196

    Rent-a-Cycle Details: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/archives/rentacycle/

    Official Website: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/

     

    Marutomi

    The famous restaurant known to every local

    If you want the real experience of Imabari’s yakitori soul food, you should visit Marutomi, a yakitori eatery. Imabari yakitori is different from the usual Japanese yakitori as it doesn’t come skewered. Instead, the chicken is cut into small pieces and fried that way. One of the most popular ways to have it is with the skin on so the outside is crunchy and the inside succulent. It goes perfect with a cup of sake too.

     

    Information 

    Marutomi

    2-3-6 Katayama, Imabari, Ehime 794-0063, Japan

    TEL: 0898-23-2740

    Opening Hours: 17:30-22:00

    Closed: Wednesdays

    Official Website: https://maru-marutomi.jp/

     

    Imabari Castle

    A castle by the sea

    Imabari Castle, built by the daimyo Tōdō Takatora, is known famously as one of Japan’s three “Castles on the Sea” and was also listed in Japan’s Top 100 Castles. When it was first constructed, boats could enter the moat from the ocean. It’s a site that breathes the prosperity that Imabari has enjoyed as a significant location for maritime traffic, the same Imabari that the Murakami pirates sought to protect. Head on up to the top of the castle to stand on the observation deck and gaze at an unbroken view of the city.

     

    Information

    Imabari Castle

    Address: 3-1-3 Toricho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0036, Japan

    TEL: 0898-31-9233

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: December 29 – December 31

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/imabarijo/

     

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    A breathtaking spectacle to remember

    Kirosan Observatory Park is officially recognised by Setonaikai National Park. Standing atop the observation deck fills the eyes with wonder as they gaze upon a panoramic stretch of Imabari, the Seto Inland Sea, and Kurushima Kaikyo all at once. Kyary wrapped up her time in Imabari here as the sunset coloured the sky and sea in warm evening hues.

     

    Information 

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    Address: 487-4 Yoshiumicho Minamiura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2115, Japan

    No Fixed Holidays

    Open 24-hours a day

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=182

     

    Imabari Tourism Information: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/

     

    We hope you enjoyed joining Kyary on her adventures across Imabari, and perhaps she even got you a little curious in wanting to visit the city yourself. It’s a treasure trove filled with vistas by the sea, in nature, and in the city itself with its Important Cultural Properties. Food is also a big part of travel for many people, so you can rest assured that your belly will be satisfied in Imabari as you try their speciality mikan, fresh seafood fished in the Seto Inland Sea, and more.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #14 – ‘Kayaba Coffee’ in Yanaka

    17.September.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Kayaba Coffee, a coffee shop in Yanaka, Tokyo, which is a perfect example of the old and traditional shitamachi neighbourhoods.

    Kayaba Coffee is just a 10-minute walk from both Nezu Station and Nippori Station.


    This is a place I’ve visited in my private time out of work and I’m always excited to go. Kayaba Coffee was established in 1938, and actually closed in 2006. But due to public demand, the cafe reopened just two years later in 2008. It’s a popular coffee shop loved by people of all generations.

     

    Time to head on in.

     

    The first floor houses the counter and table seats, while the seating on the second floor is traditional zashiki style on tatami flooring. Although it’s a cafe, you I feel so relaxed in there that it’s like I’m visiting my grandma’s house. The sun shines through the big windows, making you all warm and want to take a nap.

    I ordered their super popular egg sandwich! The menu was changed in May this year, and a new and improved version of their egg sandwich was put on there. It’s made using sourdough bread from VANER, a local bakery in Uenosakuragi not far from the cafe.

    Breakfast Menu – Egg Sandwich | ¥1,000

    The chewy, sour bread is the perfect combination with the fluffy eggs.

    Lemon Squash | ¥600

    The lemon squash has a cinnamon aftertaste. Everything on the menu is made with love and perfection; before I realised it, I was hooked on going there.

    Strawberry Shaved Ice | ¥800

    This was my first shaved ice of the year! I went with the classic strawberry flavour. The syrup is super juicy and nearly collapsed the fluffy shaved ice the moment I put it on. It has a syrupy texture and the strawberry juice has a sweet and sour kick that’s just simply delightful♡

     

    And you can make it even sweeter by pouring over your desired amount of condensed milk. It was really tasty.

    Kayaba Coffee is the same as it was back in the day, and continues to be loved dearly. I think even people who visit it for the first time will feel a sense of nostalgia. If you have a place you can go to relax on bad days or when you’re feeling down, it’s sure to give you the strength to work hard again. This cafe is a wonderful place that’s close to people’s hearts.

     

    I want to visit there again already.

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
    Design: Yuko Takayama (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons to Host Kanda Shrine’s Summer Festival In-Game

    29.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME

    Noryo Matsuri is a popular summer festival held every August at Kanda Shrine in Tokyo, bringing in over 40,000 visitors every year to enjoy a variety of fun and exciting activities like the big bon-odori dance to anime songs, live performances, events in collaboration with anime series and more. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled this year due to COVID-19.


    However, that isn’t stopping the festival from being held in some sort of form. In fact, the festival organisers are teaming up with Animal Crossing: New Horizons to bring the festival to the Nintendo Switch title in Japan.

    Players can even get their hands on some original Kanda Shrine outfits, as well as visit Kanda Shrine Island by using Luna’s dreaming service in game (until September 30).

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #13 – ‘Sepia’ in Shibamata

    22.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Sepia in Shibamata, a Showa-retro style cafe which I’ve always wanted to visit.

    The cafe is just a 2-minute stroll from Shibamata Station which appears in the Japanese film Otoko wa Tsurai yo. The walk along the road that leads to Sepia, which is nearby the Buddhist temple Shibamata Taishakuten, is a pleasant one. Tokyo is a city consistently perceived as one that is cutting-edge in every aspect, but what I felt from each and every building surrounding Shibamata Station was a kind of warmth that you feel when something has history to it.

     

    It’s been seven years since I came to Tokyo. Visiting Shibamata made me me realised how many places there are which I still don’t know about. It invigorated me. As my mind wandered with these pondering thoughts, I finally spotted the sign outside the cafe, and it sure is a cute one!

    The moment I stepped inside, I stood, my mouth agape, and looked at my surroundings. It’s the first time I’ve entered such a bright, shining cafe. It was littered with characters I’ve never seen before, manga, magazines, and more.

     

    When you hear the word kira kira (“glitter,” “sparkle”), the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people is probably Harajuku and the Harajuku style, but Sepia’s version of kira kira is a nostalgic one betwixt 1965 and 1975 during the Showa Period. The cafe is incredibly delicate in every spot and corner, like I’m looking inside some grand treasure chest.

    The owner of Sepia is Kiyoko Hasezawa. The cafe gets its name from the manga Milky Sepia Monogatari by Ako Mutsu. Ms. Hasezawa said that she wanted to bring to life the world of the manga she loved. The cafe is full of her dreams and is enjoyed by everyone, both children and adults alike.

    The cafe menu is even inspired by the food that appears in the Milky Sepia Monogatari manga. The hard pudding I had, which combined caramel sauce and cream, was an absolute delight.

    Homemade Showa Pudding & Cream Soda Set: ¥1,200

    If we’re talking cafes, then you can’t go wrong with cream soda. The cream soda served at Sepia comes in seven different flavours and colours: melon, Blue Hawaii, strawberry, lemon, peach, grape, and orange. I was spoilt for choice on which to go for, but in the end I went with the pink-coloured strawberry. It had a sweet flavour and was really delicious.

    Strawberry Cream Soda: ¥750

    I devoured the hotcakes too. The pastry was so fluffy and tasty – I could have eaten a hundred of them. The second one I ate with honey.

    Hotcakes: ¥600

    At the back of the cafe, they also have the “Candy Candy Museum.” There’s a personal collection of items from Candy H Milky, a female fashion enthusiastic who used to be a customer at Sepia. There’s a photo spot for snapping a photo in the cafe too.

     

    It’s a great time getting to go and look at the displays after eating. I recommend going to see the collection yourself with your own eyes. Entry to the museum is ¥300.

    There’s a tearoom up on the second floor which has a nostalgic vibe to it. I felt warm and relaxed, like I’d been transported to my grandma’s house.

    Humans can’t travel back in time, but if we look after mementos properly, we can go back there in our minds and memories. Sepia, a place that continues to be cherished and loved, is everybody’s treasure trove.

     

    My oh my, I really want to go back there again.

     

    Writer/Model:Ema Tanioku
    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto
    Design:Yuko Takayama(ASOBISYSTEM)

  • Kyoto’s Famous Kifune Shrine Celebrates Tanabata With Bamboo Lamp Light-Up

    07.July.2020 | SPOT

    Kifune Shrine, which is dedicated to the god of water Takaokami no Kami, is currently holding evening illuminations with Tanabata bamboo lamps until August 15, 2020.

     

    About Kifune Shrine

    Kifune Shrine is one of Kyoto’s foremost historical shrines. Records show that the shrine was already built in 677 during the reign of Emperor Tenmu. It is located near the source of Kamo River and is dedicated to the god of water who is said protect Kyoto’s water sources. The area is also known for kawadoko which is where Kibune’s restaurants build platforms over the river where visitors can enjoy their meal as the water flows beneath them.

     

    Kifune Shrine and Tanabata

    Tanabata is said to originate from the Suijinsai Festival (Water God Festival), with the stars themselves as the god of water. At Kifune Shrine, which is dedicate to Takaokami no Kami—the god of water—people not only pay their respects to the blessing of water, but hold Tanabata events as well as the Kifune Water Festival.

     

    For this year’s Tanabata event, bamboo lamps will be lit up with wishes written on them by people.

     

    Tanabata Shinto Rituals and the Kifune Water Festival

    Tanabata Shinto rituals and the Kifune Water Festival will be held on July 7 where people will express their gratitude to the god who watches over Kifune’s waters as well as pray for water’s blessing throughout the year.

  • Kyoto Sightseeing | Yokokuji Temple’s Annual Hydrangea Week Event Announced

    13.June.2020 | SPOT

    This year’s Hydrangea Week at Yokokuji Temple is set to take place from June 13 to July 5 where 5,000 breathtaking hydrangea will take over the temple grounds.

     

    Yanagidani Kannon, also known as Yokokuji Temple, is located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Nagaokakyo and has been used as a place of prayer for many people with eye disease since the Heian Period. It is believed that praying at the temple will cure eye disease.

    Special Opening of the Joshoin: Spectacularly Lush Flowers

    Normally, the Joshoin only opens on the 17th of every month, but for this autumn week event, it will be open every day. It’s an area normally limited to officials and those in the imperial family. The beauty of its autumn colours have come to be enjoyed by VIPs, dating back to the pre-war period when it was designated as a place of scenic beauty. The Nanboku-cho Period painting Amida Sanzon Raigo Zu of Amida standing on a lotus pedestal will be displayed during the opening.

     

    Entry Price: ¥1,000

    Entry Times: 9:30-14:30

     

    Limited Edition Goshuin: “Oku-no-in,” “Wagan-aigo,” “Airyoku”

    We’ve covered goshuin many times on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON. They are stamps or seals you can receive at most temples and shrines in Japan. Collected in a goshuincho, or stamp book, you pay a fee and the staff there will write gorgeous Japanese calligraphy in your book of the temple or shrine name and the date you visited along with a stamp. Every temple and shrine has their own unique stamps.

     

    For Hydrangea Week, you can get the following words written in your book: Oku-no-in (Inner Shrine) Wagan-aigo, (Gentle Face, Loving Words), and Airyoku (Power of Love).

     

    Goshuin: “Omoi”

    This special goshuin prays for the fulfilment of people’s Omoi, which can mean thoughts, desires, wishes, affections, and so on. It also features a picture of the temple water basin.

     

    Price: ¥600

     

    Seasonal Pressed Flower Goshuin Kit

    This special goshuin kit has you pressing your own flowers to create your own personal and unique design. The theme of this kit changes each season. For June, the theme is hydrangeas.

     

    Price: ¥1,000

     

    Hydrangea Goshuincho

    The temple is also selling seven different goshuincho stamp books. Orders are being carried out on the official website.

     

    Price: ¥3,500 (+¥500 handling fees)

     

    Yanagidani Kannon Treasure Exhibition

    The “Yanagidani Kannon Treasure Exhibition” is a monthly showcasing of the temple’s treasured articles which are normally unavailable to the public. For June, they will be showing the art piece Daffodils by Japanese painter Keika Kanashima who was active during the Taisho and Showa periods. Her work is also on display at the Imperial Household Agency. The painting incorporates the Shijō school of Japanese painting as well as the intai style.

     

    Items Bestowed to the Imperial Household & Buddhist Art

    The temple will display items bestowed to the Imperial Household from its collection, including Emperor Nakamikado’s mirror which has a deep green hue, a flower vase owned by Japan’s last empress regnant Empress Go-Sakuramachi, and more.

  • One Piece Goshuin Shrine Stamp Books Get Luffy and Trafalgar Law Designs

    17.March.2020 | ANIME&GAME

    Movic has collaborated to release two special goshuincho books at Animate stores in Japan as well as the Animate and Movic online stores and select Mugiwara shops.

     

    Goshuincho is a book for collecting goshuin, which are stamps or seals given at shrines and temples across Japan. Every shrine and temple has its own unique goshuin which are stamped alongside calligraphy handwritten by the staff there and then who write the date and the name of the temple or shrine. We have covered goshuin here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON many times – click for more details.

     

    Goshuincho – Luffy

     

    Goshuincho – Trafalgar Law

    The designs feature Luffy and Trafalgar Law made from gold leaf stood against backgrounds with traditional Japanese designs. Both books also feature their respective pirate logos. They are the perfect gift for any fan of One Piece heading to Japan to see the temples and shrinesーor to just add to their collection at home!


    The order window for these books will run from March 16, 2020 to April 15, 2020 at Animate, Animate online, Movic online, at select Mugiwara storesーthe latter being the official One Piece merchandise shop. You won’t be able to order them after April 15, so be sure to get your order in quick.

     

    *Photos are of the product still in development. Actual product is subject to alterations.

    *Product sales subject to change, extensions, or cancellations.

     

    ©Eiichiro Oda / Shueisha・Fuji TV・Toei Animation

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #12 – ‘J-COOK’ in Gaiemmae

    08.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited J-COOK in Gaiemmae, a place I visited one time while off work which ended up in me wanting to absolutely feature it in the series!

    It’s just a 5-minute stroll from Gaiemmae Station.

    The cafe enjoys lots of sunlight, which is brightened further by all the plants scattered through the shop. The cafes I have visited to date are often a little darker with only a little light seeping through the windows to create a certain atmosphere, and they are wonderful, but this was the first I have ever visited with so might light and so many plants. The air felt clear, adding to the level of comfort in the cafe, perhaps because there are so many plants adorning the interior.

    The cafe also has a space with a slightly more darker light and atmosphere on the left side. I haven’t sat in that area yet, so I think I’ll try it out on my next visit.

    When I come to J-COOK, my eyes always wander over to the marzipan creations (¥450).

    These ones here were actually all individually handmade by the owner’s husband from the early morning.

    If you look really closely, you’ll notice all the dog designs are different. When ordering, get to pick out which one you want, so try finding your perfect pup!

    I had mine together with an iced coffee (¥450). The sweet marzipan is a delicious combination with the bitterness of the coffee.

    I also got some potted cream (¥450). It’s kind of like a Japanese custard pudding with just a moderate amount of sweetness.

    I had mine with a bit of brandy which had fragrant vanilla notes. They’ve had this brandy for 33 years since the store first opened.

    The cream was sensational, and the gentle notes linger afterwards.

    They have a lot of different homemade soups too which are perfect for the coming cold weather. I got the New Orleans-style gumbo soup. It’s spicy with clam and okra in it.

    Relaxing jazz music plays in the cafe while you sit and enjoy your drink and meal.

    J-COOK is a wonderful little cafe run by a husband and wife. When I first came, the wife came and talked to me. She’s super friendly, and although it was our first meeting, she made me feel really comfortable and welcome. She must be full of happiness, which in turn naturally gives people who visit the strength to be positive and work hard.

     

    I reckon their smiles have saved a lot of people.

     

    I can’t wait to visit again!

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

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