‘What’s the Coolest Shrine To Visit in Japan?’, Ask Netizens

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! (Or, ‘ake ome’ for our regular readers.) Happy new year from japanCRUSH (^ o ^)!

One of the key events during the Japanese New Year is Hatsumode, the first trip to a shrine or temple after midnight on January 31st.

In this lovely New Year’s thread on 2ch.net, a netizen asked which of Japan’s shrines is the coolest for a new year visit. This prompted hundreds of responses and plenty of photographs of some of Japan’s most impressive shrines.

From Himasoku.com:

It’s Almost Hatsumode, So What’s the Coolest Temple in Japan?

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As far as you can tell online, the Izumo Grand Shrine is the coolest.

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It’s pretty hard to see this in the photo, but the impact of the Japanese flag at the Izumo Grand Shrine is amazing.

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I want to go to the Izumo Grand Shrine again. And eat akafuku mochi with green tea.

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Isn’t the Izumo Grand Shrine undergoing remodeling right now?

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Wonder if it will ever be like this again…

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I want them to restore Izumo like this.

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Oomiwa Shrine

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You can’t really get a feel for how cool it is from a picture, but this seems to have a good reputation. My wife’s family live nearby, so I guess I might try and go.

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If you ask, they’ll even let you climb the mountain of the shintai [the place where the Shinto god resides]. It’s a religious experience, really good.

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As for jingu [important Shinto shrines associated with the Imperial family], I mean, what’s different about Izumo?

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Well, it’s pretty fundamental. I guess it could be the atmosphere of the grounds — the way the space is structured is outstanding. I’ve been there.

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The refreshing air inside the inner Ise Shrine at early morn is just the best. I’d like to go around the Ise shrines.

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The buildings of the Isu Shrine are amazing, but the road that goes down to the bottom is perfection. It feels mystical.

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I mean, for Hatsumode, just go to your Ujigami [local shrine].

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Well, I’ll go to my Ujigami because it’s just across the road. I just wanted to know what the coolest shrine in Japan was.

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For Hatsumode just go to your local shrine! And then I guess it’s the Ichinomiya [most important shrine in the area].

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The title of this thread was probably confusing, but I’m not really looking for somewhere to go for Hatsumode, I just want to know which shrines are cool.

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Hikamianeko shrine

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I didn’t know it, but that’s a magnificent shrine. I’m not sure but it kinda looks like it might be in Aichi w

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It’s a shrine that has strong connections with Atsuta, and it’s one of the few remaining owari-zukuri style buildings.

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Shimogamo shrine and the Suwa Grand shrine were good.

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Damn!(゚∀゚)Amazing! The Suwa Grand shrine is so cool! I reckon it’s cooler than that Izumo Grand shrine.

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The Suwa Grand shrine has a lot of buildings, but it’s amazing, there are no gaps at all.

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Ooo~ Shimogamo shrine is good too…really bright.

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The Tadasu forest leading up to Shimogamo shrine has a good atmosphere.

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If you’re at the Shimogamo shrine, you can walk to the Kyoto Imperial Palace. The Imperial Palace isn’t a shrine, but the buildings are a highlight.

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I’ve never been inside Kyoto Imperial Palace, but there’s this kind of building inside, huh? Amazing, just what I’d expect from a real-life Imperial palace!

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I went in during the height of summer, disaster, nearly died from dehydration.

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On Hatsumode, I went from Shimogamo to the Imperial Palace, then the next day at Fushimi Inari Taisha, even I almost became a god.

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Ah, I couldn’t go out to either of them, and wanted to cry.

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The Kasuga Grand shrine has had all its coloured laquer restored, and I liked that one. It felt like even now it was a religious establishment that was still alive.

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Kumano Nachi Grand shrine The sight of the waterfall and the pagoda is beautiful.

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This view of the Kumano Nachi Grand shrine is beautiful.

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It’s really beautiful.

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The opposite side to the waterfall w This would call to people from all over the globe. It’s so simple to understand.

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Kawasaki Daishi

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Kamosu shrine has a kind of good aura

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Woah, it’s ancient w

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I think that Itsukushima shrine is in a league of its own.

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Absolutely. We can’t forget Itsukushima. I won’t say it’s the coolest, but it’s in a class of its own. The location is so unfair w

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I like the Atsuta shrine too.

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Shrines where the edge of the roof isn’t raised are also good. Kind of like Hatohara.

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Here I come, with my interest in red shuin seals. Shrines in Shimane have a better atmosphere when it’s raining. Sada jinja in the rain was really magnificent. If you like huge buildings, then Heian Jingu or Meiji Jingu. Yasaka Shrine and Itsukushima shrine. Izumo shrine is good, too. The halls of worship in Kibitsu Jinja and Miho shrine are overwhelming. Kibitsu Jinja was a great place. Definitely google it. As for places with huge torii, then Nachi Grand shrine and Oomiwa shrine. Yasukuni shrine is also huge, but it’s different level.

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Sada jinja is also cool. I really like shrines that have mountains behind them.

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What the hell, Kibitsu jinja! For a second I thought it was something designed by Zaha Hadid w! It’s kind of post-modern, but then when you’re there it’s traditional, of course.

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The coolness of the Miho shrine is another thing altogether. It’s great.

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Kashihara Jingu and Heian Jingu

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Kashihara Jingu is good. It has a more modern charm than the others for me.

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I think that bright, open shrines like the Heian Jingu are also good. It’s not exactly cool, but it looks like it would make you feel better.

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By the way, according to my personal experience, I think that shrines that celebrate the Emperor and the Imperial Family have more Miko. The Miko at the Kashihara shrine were cute.

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The Miko at the Shimogamo shrine were expressionless and hardworking, and what’s more they were so amazing at calligraphy I was shocked. When you thank them, they don’t really smile either.

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Udo Jingu. The main shrine is inside a cave, it’s an amazing shrine, where the road approaching it is on the edge of a cliff.


Wikipedia

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The sanctity of the Sakyusame forest in the Yaegaki shrine when you walk there in the mist as the rain lifts is amazing. Although it might be noon in the middle of summer, the sound of the evening cicadas still resonates. I mean, the sound is so loud that it basically makes your ears go funny because all you can hear is the sound of the evening cicadas. What’s more there is a lake where the image of Princess Kushinada appeared, and the sublime air is tremendous.

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The Yaegaki shrine. It’s compact, but for some reason it just seems so complete.

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In the grounds of the shrine there’s a wooden carving of a penis…

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In about half of the shrines in my neighbourhood, there are stone sculptures of penises.

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This one is a new building instead, I want to see it.

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It’s unusual for a wooden structure to last for a thousand years anyway.

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Yasaka shrine

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Fushimi-Inari Shrine.

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I want to guess that this is Asukanimasu shrine. I mean, it’s Asuka and stuff.

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Oooh, amazing. The balance between the beams and the roof is quite something.

たこやき ◆takoyakiS6:

For Hatsumode it has to be Katsuo-ji

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What’s this temple? So cute! w

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How about the Juuniten shrine?

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I guess if you think of the Juuniten shrine, then it’s this:

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It’s good, but they have no money, clearly.

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Hah, there are loads of shrines in the country with the same name…There’s one like this in my neighbourhood…they have a kagura hall.

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I guess they both have corrugated iron roofs.

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Really looks like a neighbourhood shrine w

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How about the Togakushi shrine?

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It has so many steps that I gave up. I don’t want to climb that.

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I just had a quick search, but this one looks like it has a good location and that the road leading up to the shrine will be nice.

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So did we figure out what the person who started this thread likes? I guess they’d also like the Munakata shrines too?

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I like it, I like it!

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Today for the first time I learned about my own interest in this! Anyway, it seems that I prefer it when the gable is facing the main entrance w

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This is the shrine that is about 30 seconds’ walk from my house. I’ve never seen any worshipers there, apart from me.

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I like the Fujitake shrine in Tatebayashi (only local people know it). It’s small, like a film-set, you get a bit excited because it’s a little bit suspicious and mysterious. It’s also interesting because it’s behind a ‘cabaret’ bar.

Fujitake Shrine

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Something like that. Can you guys tell me if there are any shrines that are a little bit strange? In the Kanto region, if possible.

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Okunitama shrine is also a great shrine.

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Damn! It’s terrible if you’re a resident of Musashino and you don’t go there. The buildings are…It’s kind of like Meiji style.

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  • Kate

    The one with the waterfall beside it is my favorite. They are all beautiful buildings though! Cool post ty for updating frequently jcrush, csmack and kbang aren’t keeping up! :)

    • besudesu

      Thanks Kate! Gambatteimasu! We’re doing our best!

  • Roihu

    I wonder if the Japanese view these shrines with the same level of awe Americans view their architecture (i.e. little).

    • fe62555555sfe

      indeed

    • dim mak

      These days nobody appreciates their local culture as much as foreigners

      That’s the cool new trend

    • Rutim

      Japan has it’s own culture built throught centuries. And US citizens (as well as Canadians) haven’t got too much too much to remember from the past (Indians could write at least?) so that’s the wort example…

  • http://twitter.com/SactoMan81 Raymond Chuang

    There are a LOT of visitors to Izumo Taisha because it’s arguably the oldest location of a Shinto shrine in Japan. Indeed, on New Year’s Day the trains going in and out of the Izumotaisha-mae Station near the shrine on the Ichibata Electric Railway line is standing room-only full as seen on this video taken New Year’s Day 2013:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8eRUGwr0to

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