Tokyobling's Blog

Omatsu Inari Jinja – Omotesando/Aoyama

Posted in Places by tokyobling on May 1, 2015

Easily one of the most seen but least visited shrines in Japan is the tiny Omatsu Inari Shrine very close to the large Omotesando street crossing. Technically the address of the shrine is in Minamiaoyama, but most people would recognize it as a place in Omotesando more than anything else. It has quite a few illustrious brand name shops for close neighbors so there are tens of thousands of people passing it most days, despite this I have never seen anyone enter it.

The name, Omatsu, which means large pine, comes from the fact that until 1839 there was a huge pine tree right on this spot, it grew so large that people would come to venerate it. As it broke during a storm a tiny shrine was erected over the tee stump and it remains there today, even long after anyone who has ever seen the pine has passed away.

Since then the shrine has found a second shot of fame after having been featured in the award winning drama writer Mukoda Kuniko (向田邦子) who moved into the the fifth floor of the apartment building just next to it in 1970. I think she lived there until she died in a plane crash in Taiwan in 1981.

The shrine itself, being an inari-shrine, enshrines the diety Ukanomitama, who is often shown as a fox in Japanese mythology. I took these photos at night. For some reason I think this shrine is best visited at night, when the obvious modern surrounds are a little less obvious, giving us a chance to imagine this shrine as it must have looked in 1839.

omatsuinarijinja_4898

omatsuinarijinja_4902

omatsuinarijinja_4905

omatsuinarijinja_4906

omatsuinarijinja_4911

omatsuinarijinja_4918

omatsuinarijinja_4919

omatsuinarijinja_4929

Advertisements

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. bCL Photography said, on May 1, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Beautiful place, great photos!!
    I wish to be there…

    Like

  2. 0utofjoint said, on May 1, 2015 at 11:00 am

    You captured this weird atmosphere perfectly in your shots. 🙂

    Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: