Tokyobling's Blog

Tokyo Dai Jingu – 東京大神宮

Posted in Japanese Traditions, Places by tokyobling on October 29, 2011

I really thought I knew all the major shrines of Tokyo, all the jingu and all the jinja. But Tokyo keep throwing me surprises! One evening while taking a walk near Kudanshita (and passing Yasukuni Shrine) I saw a sign mentioning Tokyo Dai Jingu (東京大神宮) and had to take a look. It turns out that in the middle of a quite new high rise residential area one of Tokyo’s big five shrines lies quietly tucked away. It is associated with the grand shrine at Ise and was constructed originally in Hibiya, in the 13th year of Meiji (1880), under the name Hibiya Dai Jingu. After the big Kanto Earthquake in 1923 it was reconstructed at its present location and renamed Iidabashi Jingu in 1928. In 1945 it was again renamed to the Tokyo Dai Jingu. The main deity (kami, or sprit) worshiped at this shrine is none less than Amaterasu herself, the sun goddess and one of the major Gods of Japan. The shrine itself is rather small, with a newly refurbished main garden and buildings, it reminds me very much of Nogi Shrine, which has a very similar look and feel. I was surprised to see so many young visitors to the shrine, the 30 minutes I spent there saw many people in their 20 drop by to pray. There was also a wedding going on in the main shrine building, very beautiful! I love the smells and sounds of a wedding ceremony, even if I can only take part of it from the outside.

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