Check out how to visit! How to visit power spot shrines and temples in Minato Ward
Differences between Shrine and Temple Ways of Prayer
Temples have a "Sanmon" gate at the entrance, a "Pagoda" inside, and a "Kondo" where Buddhist statues are enshrined. When visiting the temple, bow with your palms in front of the gate and enter with your right foot. Do not step on the threshold. After offering money, it is customary to clasp your hands together in front of your chest, and do not clap your hands in a Kashiwa-mate gesture. You can see the Buddhist statues enshrined at the temple.
Temples for this visit: Zojoji Temple, Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin
There is a "Torii" at the entrance and a "Tezumisha" by the side of the approach. Proceeding to the back of the shrine, you will find the "Honden (main hall)" where the deity is enshrined. When passing through the torii gate, it is good manners to bow before passing through the edge of the gate, avoiding the center of the gate, which is the path of the gods. As you proceed along the approach, you will see a hand-watering basin, so purify your hands. When visiting the main shrine, after offering money, bow ""Nirei Ni-ni-hate-ichirii"" (two rounds of applause and one round of bow). In other words, bow twice, clap your hands twice, and bow once at the end. Unlike temples, shrines enshrine the sacred object in a place that cannot be seen from the outside.
Shrines visited this time: Azabu Hikawa Shrine and Atago Shrine.
Zojoji Temple overlooking Tokyo Tower
The main hall of the temple is undergoing earthquake-proofing work until August 2023, so visitors are advised to visit the Ankoku-den Hall during this period.
Nembutsu is important in the Jodo sect, so please put your hands together in front of the principal image and recite the nembutsu ten times (ojunen). In 2011, the new Ankoku-den was built. Enshrined in the center of the main hall is the principal image, the Kurohonzon. The shrine is open on New Year's Day and the 15th day of May and September. It is said that Tokugawa Ieyasu gained victory in battle through the blessings of this statue. Why not ask for good luck and protection against misfortune?
Since the Jodo sect places great importance on nembutsu (the recitation of the Buddhist prayer), please join hands and recite the nembutsu ten times (onenen) in front of the principal image of the Buddha.
Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin where you can visit the Seven Gods of Good Fortune in the precincts of the temple.
Toyokawa Inari was worshipped by warlords such as Yoshimoto Imagawa, Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, and Ieyasu Tokugawa in ancient times, and during the Edo period, it was believed to be beneficial to the common people for prosperous business, family safety, and good fortune and luck. The Tokyo Annex enshrines the spirit of Toyokawa Inari, which was worshipped by Ooka Echizen-no-Kami Tadasuke, a feudal lord in the Edo period. In 1887, the temple was relocated from the Ooka residence in Akasaka Hitotsugi to its current location and became a branch temple under the direct control of the Toyokawa Kaku of Aichi Prefecture.
Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Branch Temple
This branch temple is a direct branch of the Enpukuzan Myoganji Temple (commonly called Toyokawa Inari) in the city of Toyokawa, Aichi. During the Edo period, the impressive Buddha statue worshipped by Ooka Tadasuke of Echizen was moved from the Ooka mansion on the Hitotsugi Street of Akasaka to the current location here in 1887.
Azabu Hikawa Shrine, where you can get power from camphor trees and pine trees
In addition, the guardian dogs facing each other to ward off evil spirits are symbols that have guarded the shrine since the Edo period (1603-1868). Let us ask for peace and good karma. When praying to Bishamonten in the main shrine, try to make a wish three times silently in your heart. It should bring you good luck. There is a pleasant air in the precincts of the temple, so take three quiet, slow, deep breaths.
1-4-23 Motoazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Atago Shrine with deep greenery at the end of long stone steps
Atago-yama, where Atago Shrine is located, is the highest natural mountain in the 23 wards of Tokyo. After climbing the long stone steps, you will reach an urban oasis with lush foliage that changes with the seasons. Take a deep breath, quiet your mind, and pay a visit.
On top of Mount Atago sits the historic Atago shrine, which appeared in the saying '7 visits to Ise, 3 visits to Kumano, and monthly visits to shiba no atago'. As it is a shrine connected to Togawa Ieyasu, the ground will be bustling with people on Sennichimairi, an annual event in June when it is said that paying homage on this one day will lead to a thousand days' worth of blessings. It is said that Katsu Kaishū invited Saigō Takamori to Atagoyama mountaintop, where he pointed at the streets of Great Edo and lamented about its exposure to damages by the war.