Dazaifu Tenmangū, Dazaifu

Dazaifu Tenmangū is a large shrine complex in the town of Dazaifu, Fukuoka, dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane. As you may recall from my post on the Yushima Tenmangū, Sugawara was a Heian-era scholar and poet who was, after his death, deified as Tenjin. Sugawara was born in Kyoto in 845, and was writing poetry…

Hie Jinja, Tōkyō

For a shrine which was once so important, Hie Jinja is remarkably… unremarkable. It receives few foreign visitors, and seems relatively new. The first clue to its magnitude is the vast quantity of names and nicknames it has; it’s not uncommon for a shrine so big as Sensōji to have a couple of alternative names,…

Yushima Tenmangū, Tōkyō

Yushima Tenmangū, also known as Yushima Tenjin, is a small shrine in the Bunkyō Ward of Tōkyō which is dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, a Heian Period scholar and poet. Deified after his death as the kami Tenman-Tenjin (often shortened to Tenjin), there are many shrines across the country dedicated to him, and the Yushima…

Meiji Jingū, Tōkyō, Japan

One of Japan’s most famous Shinto shrines, Meiji Jingū was built after the deaths of Emperor Meiji and his wife, the Empress Shoken, and they were enshrined here on the 1st November 1920. The shrine was a colossal effort on the part of the Japanese people, to commemorate an Emperor who brought Japan into the…

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto, Japan

Fushimi Inari Taisha (Shrine) might already be familiar to you: images of the endless-seeming rows of bright vermillion torii are included in computer and smartphone wallpapers around the world. There are thousands of torii, each straddling a pathway which leads up the mountain, and each donated to the shrine by businesses, because Inari is often…

Kasuga-taisha, Nara, Japan

Established at the same time as the city itself, Nara’s most celebrated shrine is famous for its lanterns – and the deer, of course. Even the shrine’s chōzuya is carved in the shape of a deer. Lanterns are everywhere. They line the approach to the shrine, and gather around and between its buildings. Twice yearly,…