10 Best Shrines in Tokyo to Visit in 2022
Japanese shrines are unlike other places you may have visited in Japan, imbedded with deep history and traditions, these shirnes are a great break from the hustle and bustle of Japan. The shrines of Tokyo attract thousands of travellers each year for many reasons, from the sophisticated craftsmanship to the beautiful nature surrounding the shrines. We recommend visiting at least one of the shrines on our list, and you will be amazed by the true beauty of Japanese culture.
1. Tokyo Daijingu Shrine
Tokyo Daijingu is one of Tokyo’s top five most popular shrines, it is only about a 5-minute walk from Iidabashi Station. This shrine is dedicated to all thing’s relationship and love related. If you are lucky, you might even witness a beautiful Japanese wedding ceremony in front of the shrine.
If you are looking to tie the knot, perhaps you should try your luck at this major urban shrine. Tokyo Daijingu Shrine was the first shrine to hold a wedding ceremony back in 1900, ever since then, it is a place where people pray for a partner or a successful marriage.
2. Meiji Jingu
Can you really say that you visited Tokyo if you haven’t visited Meiji Jingu? This shrine is amongst one of the most visited shrines in Tokyo. It is located closely to the busy Harajuku Station; people often visit Meiji Jingu after touring Harajuku to reconnect with the nature. It is a place where you can truly relax, despite being a top destination for tourists, the shrine is so massive that you will almost always find a nice peaceful spot to rest.
Entry into the shrine grounds is marked by a massive Torii gate, where you can take a quick snap to brag to all your friends! It is said that about 100,000 trees that make up Meiji Jingu’s forest were planted during the construction of the shrine.
3. Hanazono Shrine
This Shrine is located in the heart of Tokyo, bustling Shinjuku district, it is painted with a beautiful vermilion colour where you can spot the shrine from miles away. The shrine exhibits pure artwork and craftsmanship during the Edo period. Located only a few minute-walk from Shinjuku station on the Yamanote line, it is a popular spot amongst travellers because of its convenient location.
The shrine features several smaller sub-shrines. One of them is the Itoku Inari Shrine, a typical Inari fox shrine with small Torii gates in front of it. There are also small shops along the walkway for you to explore.
4. Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine
Tomioka Hachimangu is a large Shinto shrine in the Fukagawa district of Koto city, Tokyo. This shrine was built in 1627 to carry out traditional Japanese festivals, it is imbedded with over 350 years of traditions. There is also an antique market which is held in the precincts every Sunday except the 3rd Sunday of every month.
This shrine is rich in history, a great place to visit if you are interested in exploring Japanese history. In the walkway, there is a statue of Inou Tadataka located right inside the shrine gate. He was a surveyor during the Edo Period, he was the first to have walked through all of Japan, completing the first full map of the nation.
5. Kanda Myojin
Kanda Myojin Shrine was founded in 730 near present-day Otemachi and has a history of nearly 1,300 years. The shrine was moved to the current location during the Edo Period. It is a place where people come to pray for prosperity, good luck, good health, and a successful marriage.
The shrine features 17th century wooden buildings that are painted with bright red colour for good luck. The shrine is located few minutes walk from Ochanomizu Station. A truly relaxing shrine with great atmosphere surrounded by the beautiful nature.
6. Yasukuni Shrine
This Shinto shrine was founded in 1869 with the purpose of enshrining those who have died in the war while fighting for the Japanese nation. Located right next to the shrine stands the Yashukan, a large museum that states Japan’s wars with detailed information in English for tourists to read. Around the shrine grounds, there are countless cherry trees that bloom beautifully during cherry blossom season.
Yasukuni Shrine is located a short walk from Kudanshita Station on the Hanzomon, Tozai and Shinjuku Subway Lines. A great place to spend your afternoon!
7. Hie Shrine
Hie Shrine is definitely one of the major shrines in Tokyo, visited by thousands of travellers each day. The peacefulness of this shrine makes it hard to believe that it is located in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. The highlight of the shrine is the entrance that is marked by 90 bright red Torii gates. A popular place to snap a quick photo!
The shrine is fairly small, but it gives out a relaxing and calming atmosphere that makes you almost never want to leave. The main part of the shrine closes relatively early at 4PM however, the outside ground remains open till night-time.
8. Asakusa Shrine
Asakusa shrine is also known as Sanja-sama, meaning Shrine of the three Gods. It is one of the most famous shinto shrines in the city. The shrine honors the three men who founded the Senso-ji. It can be found on the east side of Senso-ji. It is one of the only two buildings in the area to survive War II, it is designated an Important Cultural Property due to its long history.
Multiple small shops called Nakamise stretched over 200 metres where visitors can enjoy purchasing small gifts and souvenirs for their loved ones. There are multiple events held throughout the year in the temple, the biggest of them is the Sanja Matsuri, an annual festival held in Asakusa temple during May.
9. Yushima Tenjin
This shrine is a short walk from Yushima Station, it is often visited by students to pray for passing grades in exams and entry into university of their choice. A notable feature of the shrine is the bright red painted carvings of some Japanese legends. There is also a festival held on 25 May called the Yushima Tenjin festival.
10. Ueno Toshogu Shrine
This shrine has a different architectural design than other shrines we have mentioned, it is lavishly decorated with multiple complex features located in the central forest area. Countless wood carvings and large amounts of gold leaf were used to decorate the buildings, setting this shrine apart from others. A particularly notable feature of the shrine is the five-story pagoda in front of the main entrance gate.
Visitors will encounter multiple wood cravings that are designed with high level of craftsmanship, one of which are the famous "see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil" monkeys and the Sozonozo Elephants. These small features make the shrine so special and interesting to visit!