Temples and Shrines for Culture and Peace in the Tokyo Metropolis
Your Deep Japan Senpai present quiet havens of peace and purity right in the middle of the buzzing Tokyo Greater Metro Area. Tucked behind a run-down storefront or caught between gray concrete office buildings, the shrines and temples here will ease your mind and give solace during your busy Japan travel.
Kameido Tenjin Shrine
Fuji is not only a flower but also a color and I let you guess which one it might be. It is also the name of the mother of Genji, the 10th century Prince who could not become Emperor because is mother, Fuji tsubo, was a courtisane of lower rank (but the favorite of the Emperor). The Tale of Genji was written by a women (yes) in the 10th century. She is called Murasaki shikibu. It is the first novel ever. And so, Fujitsubo, is the mother of the hero of the Tale of Genji. Fujitsubo means "the pot with pawlonia".
Ribbit said the frog. RIBBIT!! said the GIANT frog.
Many Japanese return to the Juban Inari Shrine time and again to offer a prayer or see these two frogs that sit just to the right of the steps leading up to the shrine.This shrine is also one of the stops during the traditional 7 Lucky Gods walk (there are several of these walks around the Tokyo area, but that's another story). Juban Inari Shrine houses the boat that the 7 gods ride in. A stone boat is just to the left of the tori. Legend has it that a giant frog appeared out of a pond and started spouting water to extinguish the flames of a fire that threatened the area. Since then the frog is reputed to protect against fire.
"Chinowa" - a Very special ring at shrine!
Shinagawa Shrine is located only a few minutes away from Shim-Bamba station, Keikyu Line. (5 minutes from Shinagawa Station) When you go up the stairs, you can see whole Shinagawa area.They also have a mock Mt. Fuji (a little hill you can climb up by steep stairs). Japanese people worship Mt. Fuji and there are about 60 mock Mt. Fuji spots in Tokyo for those who are not able to climb up the mountain.This shrine is calm and peaceful. Very special place! Worth a visit if you are in the area.
Spend the day in old Tokyo - follow this guide for an easy outing.
Just past Sandara you'll find Asakura Choso Museum, although as of early November 2012 it's closed for renovations. It was built in 1936 as the home and studio for Asakura Fumio, a Western style sculptor known for creating realistic statues. Continue on along the street then take the next left (right takes you back to Nippori Station). At the "Y" take the right street and go down the steps to Yanaka Ginza, which is an old fashioned shopping street filled with dozens of small shops, places to eat, and snack stands selling "kurokke" (meat and potato deep fried croquets), which you can buy to nibble on as you walk along.
Asakusa viewpoint & information
The Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center is located in front of Kaminari-mon at the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. On the 8th floor the Center has a small cafe and a terrace. This is a good place to rest and plan a visit of the Asakusa area. On one side you have the view across the Sumidagawa river with Tokyo Skytree and the golden Asahi Breweries headquarters building. On the other side is a good view of Sensoji Temple. If you want to look at the city from higher up, Tokyo Skytree is only a 15 minute walk from here or 2-3 minutes by train.