A Visit to Nezu Jinja, Part 2

A Visit to Nezu Jinja, Part 2

(To read Part 1, click here.) Like many Shintō shrines in Japan, Nezu Jinja features a subshrine dedicated to Inari Ōkami, the kami (god) of foxes, rice, sake, fertility, swordsmiths, merchants, agriculture, and worldly success (among other things). There are over 10,000 Inari shrines across Japan — and with good reason, given Japan’s historical dependence upon rice as a primary source of food (and, at one time, as the measure of wealth as well).

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A Visit to Nezu Jinja (Shrine), Part 1

A Visit to Nezu Jinja (Shrine), Part 1

Nezu Jinja lies in Tokyo’s Bunkyō ward, and has since Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi ordered the shine moved to its current location in 1705. The shrine is perhaps best known for its extensive azalea garden, which erupt in color every April (there’s even an azalea festival at the shrine each spring), but I visited for the first time last December and can attest it’s worth a visit in any season.

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Ootoyo Jinja – Kyoto’s Hidden Jewel

I’d never heard of Ootoyo Jinja before I walked Kyoto’s famous philosopher’s path–and even then, I might have missed it easily had I not been in a curious mood. The shrine lies east of the path, marked only by a small wooden sign with an arrow pointing travelers in the right direction. Its unassuming entrance is marked by carved stone dogs whose mossy smiles reveal nothing about the nature of what lies beyond. Travel up a hill and through the torii gate that marks the entrance, and you’ll discover a hidden jewel–one of the most unique Shinto shrines in Kyoto.  The shrine lies on the side of

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