Tokyobling's Blog

Konouhachimangu – Shibuya Grand Shrine

Posted in Japanese Traditions, Places by tokyobling on November 20, 2013

A couple of months ago during the three day festival in Shibuya I went to pay my respects at the Konouhachimanu grand shrine, the official protector shrine of Shibuya and Aoyama. The weather had been bad all day and it had just stopped raining so there were very few people at the actual shrine. The most of the festival takes place in the middle of the commercial areas of Shibuya and since the shrine lies almost hidden between tall buildings and offices not many people actually know that it is there. Founded in 1092, it is one of Tokyo’s older and more important shrines. Despite being so old the shrine’s present priest is quite young and modern minded, so during the festival there are rock bands, jazz bands and even karaoke concerts taking place at the shrine’s main stage, I arrived just in time to see one of the classic old kagura plays being performed, one that I have seen many times before.

Inside the grand shrine grounds there is also a smaller Tamatsukuri Inari shrine (玉造稲荷神社), and besides the shrine there is a Toyosaka Inari shrine (豊栄稲荷神社), both devoted to the God of rice and fertility, with a row of ten torii, red shrine gates leading up to the altar.

The best little piece of trivia though, is that this is also the location of what was once one of the biggest castles in what is now Tokyo! Not many people know that Shibuya had a castle roughly between the 12th and the early 16th centuries, and although the now hidden Shibuya river is slightly more famous, even fewer are aware that it once served as a defensive moat to this hilltop castle. The only remaining piece of this castle is a small stone from one of the walls, tucked away in the shrine grounds. I have been to this shrine many times but never actually noticed the stone. Next time I go I will try to get a photo of it!

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13 Responses

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  1. yoshizen said, on November 20, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Like Tokyo Tower where (I thought) I could come again, and never went inside, Konno-Jinja
    where we bad boys called Kintama-jinja, was the one I never step inside, despite I was often
    eating Sara-udon (Nagasaki style Noodle dish) next door.
    So that, I’m really grateful you to show me the inside first time
    and let me know that there was a castle there —- really ? ! ! !

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on November 22, 2013 at 4:13 am

      Ah, I know the feeling! That is why I go everywhere I can whenever I want to (^-^;) Thanks for giving me an insight in the lives of rude young boys in Shibuya back in the days! (^-^)

      Like

  2. lemanshots said, on November 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Ein gelungenes Bild! 🙂
    A great shot! 🙂

    Like

  3. bonesofculture said, on November 20, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  4. SheisGrateful said, on November 21, 2013 at 2:32 am

    Beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 My younger brother is currently in Tokyo and this makes me feel that much closer to him. Thank you.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on November 22, 2013 at 4:14 am

      Thank you for the kind comment! I hope your brother is enjoying himself and that you don’t miss him too much…!

      Like

  5. Dina Farmer said, on November 21, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Stunning imagery as always! You do a great job! LOL if I ever go back to Japan I’ll have to take a note from you. Only mommy style lol!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on November 22, 2013 at 4:17 am

      Thank you Dina! (^-^) Mommy Dina Style, it will be a style of your own! Bring the little Man and get him suited up in a proper jinbei. He’ll be a great model!

      Like

      • Dina Farmer said, on November 29, 2013 at 7:59 pm

        Oh geez it would just be images of him exploring Japan. LOL Thank you!!

        Like

  6. john doherty said, on February 18, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Shared a link on my blog. Great Photos! http://sankyuverymuch.blogspot.jp/2015/02/4th-dan-grading-diary-6.html

    Like


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