Tokyobling's Blog

Iseyama Koutai Jingu – Yokohama

Posted in Places by tokyobling on January 28, 2014

The grand Iseyama Koutai Jingu Shrine in Yokohama is one of the most important shrines in Kanagawa Prefecture, but like all shrines associated with Ise, you would not know it from the looks of it. Visually it is one of the most understated shrines in the region and although it is dedicated to the Sun and Star goddess Amaterasu, it was an overcast day in early January when I visited. The Guardian shrine of Yokohama, it was established in 1870 as an offshoot of the national Guardian shrine in Ise. As Yokohama opened to foreign trade there was a need to counteract the growing popularity and influence of Christianity.

In 1928 the shrine main building was destroyed in the massive Kanto Earthquake, but it was rebuilt in the same year.
Trouble did not stop there and today the shrine is also famous for something completely different. In 2002 it became the first shrine ever in Japan to be declared bankrupt. The shrine management ran into financial problems after speculative real estate developments during the Japanese era of the Bubble Economy in the 1980s to 1991. The financial troubles are still ongoing but in the long the shrine will probably survive the yen!

Apart from Amaterasu, the Shrine is also dedicated to Nenookami, the guardian spirit of Noge, the town where the shrine is located and also the place for a rather good zoo (which has no entrance charge!). It is best reached from Sakuragicho station in downtown Yokohama. The shrine is located on the top of a hill and it is quite a walk to get up there. Their official homepage has some nice photos.

On the way down from the shrine I found a plastic velociraptor LEGO toy that some child had dropped. I think he made a fine guardian of the shrine torii (last photo)!

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6 Responses

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  1. Dina Farmer said, on January 28, 2014 at 5:41 am

    Buhahah sorry the Raptor at the end is something I would have totally photographed from my son having visited there….

    Like

  2. melsenpai said, on January 31, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    These pictures are awesome!! I’ve visited my aunts & uncles in Yokohama many times before, but I have never been to this shrine before… I would definitely like to visit this place at least once! 🙂

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on February 2, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      Thank you! (^-^) Unless you know about this shrine you are probably never going to find it. As it is located on the top of a hill it is hard work to “stumble upon” it. (^-^;) I hope you get a chance to visit soon!

      Like

  3. May said, on June 11, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    This’s my ujigami shrine! Love the last photo:)

    Like


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