With more than 37,000 business establishments and nearly one million people working in the ward, Minato Ward, Tokyo, is one of the leading business towns in Japan. The ward is dotted with office districts such as Shimbashi, Akasaka, and Roppongi. The bustling atmosphere created by busy workers and the industrial light emitted by office buildings after dusk are among the elements that make the city so attractive. There are many shrines in Minato Ward that are popular for prayers for good luck in business and success in life. Let us introduce some of the most famous spots.
Atago Shrine Climb the "Ishidan (stone steps) of Success" and be blessed with Heikuro Kyokugaki's luck of success in life!
Next is Atago Shrine, located in Atago 1-chome. Located near the office districts of Shimbashi, Toranomon, and Shiba Koen, the shrine is a popular destination for early morning worshipers dressed in suits every day. It is conveniently accessible from Kamiyacho or Toranomon Hills Stations on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line or Toranomon Station on the Ginza Line.
The shrine was built on the summit of Mt. Atago, 25.7 meters above sea level, and it is difficult to reach the shrine pavilions. The reason is that the approach to the shrine, after passing through a red torii gate, is a steep slope called "Succession Stone Steps" that must be climbed. The name of this slope, which seems to bring good luck for success in life, comes from the legend of Heikuro Kyokugaki, an equestrian who was active during the reign of Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa Shogun.
In the 11th year of Kan'ei (1631). On his way back to Edo Castle after visiting Zojoji Temple, Iemitsu found plum blossoms at the top of Mt. He ordered his retainers to pick them on horseback. Even though it is not that high, Mt. Atago is the highest mountain in the 23 wards of Tokyo in terms of natural terrain. In the Edo period, when there were no tall buildings around, it must have seemed higher than it is today. While the vassals flinched, Heikuro Kyokugaki, astride his beloved horse, gallantly appeared.
Heikuro rode up the steep slope of Mt. Atago and presented the plum blossoms he had brought back to Lord Iemitsu. Heikuro was praised by Iemitsu as "the greatest master of horsemanship in Japan," and he rose through the ranks to become known throughout Japan.
Currently, there are 86 stone steps. Incidentally, after Heikuro, three people from the Meiji to Showa eras succeeded in climbing up the hill on horseback in an attempt to challenge the legend. Some people may feel a bit intimidated just looking up from below, but if you actually climb the steps and look down while being watched over by the guardian dogs on either side, you will realize the steep angle of the hill even more. If you are not physically strong enough to climb up the slope, you can use the gentle "Women's Slope" on the side of the "Men's Slope.
Atago Shrine, built in 1603, enshrines the deity Hozanrei-no-mikoto as its main deity. The deity is known to bring blessings for fire, fire prevention, disaster prevention, love, and marriage, as well as prosperity in business, especially in the printing industry and computer-related fields. After praying to Heikuro for his success on the "stone steps of success," pray to the god for better luck in business.
Shiba Toshogu Shrine: Feel the super power of the "heavenly sovereign" at the shrine associated with Ieyasu
The third shrine we would like to introduce is Shiba Toshogu Shrine, located in Shiba Park. This shrine is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Edo shogunate, and is often visited by businessmen seeking the blessings of Ieyasu, who is praised as a god of luck.
Originally, Shiba Toshogu was an ankoku-den shrine built in 1617 within the precincts of Zojoji Temple. Later, it was separated from Zojoji Temple and became Shiba Toshogu Shrine due to the Shinto/Buddhist Separation Order after the Meiji period. The life-size statue of Ieyasu, who died the year before the shrine was built, is enshrined as the sacred body of the shrine.
After passing through the torii gate and walking along the approach surrounded by lush greenery, you will see a very magnificent sacred tree on your right. It is said that this huge tree was planted by the third Shogun, Iemitsu Iemitsu, when the Ankoku-den Hall of Zojoji Temple was rebuilt in 1641. It is 21.5 m tall and has a circumference of 8.3 m. Because of its preciousness and historical value, it is registered as a natural monument designated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government as the "Great Ginkgo of Shiba Toshogu Shrine. You will feel the strong life force in its majestic appearance that reminds you of the long accumulation of years.
After being destroyed by fire during the war, the current shrine was rebuilt in 1969. Visitors are encouraged to visit the shrine and try to divine their fortune with the Tokugawa Busho lottery (300 yen per lottery ticket). Feel the super power of the "Tenkajin" who rose from a military commander of the Mikawa region to the unification of Japan, and be energized to win in business.
There are many other shrines in Minato Ward that are famous for their good luck in business and career!
In addition to the three shrines introduced above, there are many other shrines where you can expect to find good luck for work and success in life, such as Shiba Daijingu Shrine, which is famous for its "Go-un" talisman that goes even further than "strong luck," Nogi Shrine, which is dedicated to the legendary Meiji era military commander General Kigenori Nogi, and Karasumori Shrine, located in front of Shinbashi Station and visited by many businessmen. There are a number of shrines in Minato Ward that are expected to bring good fortune for work and success in life. The following article also features shrines in Minato Ward, including these and other spots, so please check them out as well.
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