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Sensoji Temple (Asakusa Kannon)
The Sensoji Temple is surrounded by legends, the most prolific of which concerns its original founding. Legend tells us that in 628 a pair of brothers were fishing in the Sumida River , and instead of catching a fish, they caught a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. They threw the statue back into the river, fearing to displease the goddess, but every time they started to fish again, they caught the statue.

The temple was constructed to honour the goddess Kannon on the spot the brothers are said to have fished from. The main feature of the temple is the Asakusa Shrine, a large five story pagoda which is accessed through the Hozomon Gate. The temple itself is home to several annual events, which include Hagoita-ichi in December, Tokyo Jidai Matsuri in November, Asakusa Samba Carnival in August, and Sanja Matsuri in May.

If you are visiting during these times, it would be well advised to visit the temple early, as it can become extremely over crowded once the day gets underway. The temple is free to enter, and open between 6am and 5pm, please note that it is only open from October to March. 2-3-1 Asakusa Taito 111-0032 Japan, Telephone: 03 3842 0181

Hanazono Jinja Shrine
The Hanazono Jinja Shrine is noted as being a particularly good example of a shrine constructed in the Inari style. It is located conveniently close to the centre of the commercial district of Shinjuku. The land and site for the shrine was originally donated by the rich and affluent Hanazono family, the spot the shrine now occupies was a part of their estate gardens. The shrine was originally located close to a large department store, but developers relocated the shrine to its new location. A particularly idiosyncratic event which takes place at the Hanazono Jinja Shrine each year is the annual festival of the fowls. Within the grounds of the shrine can be found a boisterous street market, although only usually on festival days, visitors are advised to check in advance to see if the market is in place before they visit the shrine if shopping is part of their intended itinerary. 5-17-3 Shinjuku Shinjuku Japan, Telephone: 81 3 3200 3093

Yasukuni-jinja
The Yasukuni shrine was founded by Emperor Meiji when he visited Tokyo in 1874. During his visited he composed a poem; “I assure those of you who fought and died for your country, that your names will live forever at this shrine in Musashino”. As such the shrine is dedicated to all those who gave their lives to defend their country.

The shrine is said to house almost 2,500,000 souls of men who lay down their life for their country since 1853, during several conflicts from the Boshin war through to World War II. Local people will often offer food and drink to the shrine, as they believe the best way to honour the dead is to treat them as if they are alive. These daily rituals are augmented twice each year during the spring and autumn to become major religious rituals. The Yasukini Shrine is one of the most popular religious sites in Tokyo, and is visited by almost six million people every year. 3-1-1 Kudankita Chiyoda 102-8246 Japan, Telephone: 81 03 3261-8326

Akamon (Red Gate)
7-3-1 Hongo , Bunkyo-ku , Tokyo

Asakusa Shrine
2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
(03 3844 1575)

Hachiko Statue
Hachiko Plaza , Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Hie Shrine
2-10-15 Nagatacho , Tokyo
(03 3581 2471)

Korakuen
1-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo , Japan
(03 3817 6098)


 

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