Posts Tagged ‘shrine’

Local temples and shrines

July 24, 2012

平間山 稱名寺

There are a number of small temples and shrines within walking distance of my apartment. Earlier this year I went round taking photos of them all.

Temples and shrines near Shin-Kawasaki and Kashimada

Gokoku Jinja

January 26, 2007

Gokoku Jinja, in central Fukuoka, is the temple we’ve chosen to have our wedding. At least the ceremony part, anyway; the legal marriage will already have happened at the town hall by the time we get to the temple.

We checked a couple of other temples in the city centre, but they were either too small, too old, or too loud. One that we looked at had department stores looming in the background.

Although Gokoku Jinja is fairly central – only a 10 minute walk from the main shopping streets – it’s fairly secluded in its own little park surrounded by trees.

While we were there they were setting up for the New Year celebrations. In the photos you can see the first food stalls being set up in the driveway. By the time we went there again on New Year’s Day, it was teeming with people going there to pray.

Meiji Jingu Shrine

October 17, 2006

The Meiji Jingu is a shrine in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, dedicated to the emperor Meiji who died in 1912.

Meiji Jingu

The shrine’s entrance gate (Otorii) is the largest of its kind in Japan, standing 12 meters high with a crosspiece of 17 meters.

Previously in the Japan Diary:

Kushida Shrine

August 1, 2006

Kushida is a shrine in the centre of Fukuoka. It seems out of place in the centre of the city, less than 3 minutes walk from the busy Canal City shopping centre, but once you’re in the grounds you don’t notice the outside surroundings.

Kushida Jinja

The most famous part of the shrine is the portable shrine which is carried through the streets during the annual Yamagasa festival.

At the entrance to the shrine grounds there is a display of decorated sake barrels. I’m not sure if the barrels are full, and if so whether or not the sake is actually drinkable.

More photos: Kushida shrine in Fukuoka city centre.


Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

July 5, 2006

Dazaifu is a small town just outside Fukuoka. One of it’s main attractions is the Dazaifu Tenmangu; a shrine dedicated to the spirits of Sugawara Michizane, an ancient Japanese scholar.


The road leading up to the shrine is full of shops selling souvenirs and various kinds of food. Several of the shops were selling Daruma which are wooden carvings used to bring good fortune. They are usually bought by students about to sit an exam. Using a black pen, one eye is drawn on while wishing for success. Should the wish come true, the other eye is then drawn on.

Dazaifu Tenmangu

After passing under the entrance gate and into the grounds of the shrine, there is a big pool of water with drinking cups made of bamboo. Before approaching the shrine, visitors are supposed to use the cups to wash their hands with, and then drink, the water from the pool.

After washing and drinking, the visitor may approach the temple to throw in some money (usally 5-10 yen) and make a wish.

If making a wish in the temple is not enough, the visitor can part with a further 100 yen to buy an Omikuji from one of the stalls inside the ground. Omikuji means, literally, “sacred lottery” and is a piece of rolled up paper with a fortune written inside it, rather like an elaborate fortune cookie. After reading the fortune the visitor ties it in a bow on one of several specially prepared racks.

Ema boards

Aswell as the Omikuji, the visitor can buy an Ema – a small wooden board on which prayers or wishes can be written. There are also specially prepared racks where the Ema boards are hung.

More photos: Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine