Haneda Airport Shrine

Specialist shrines in Tokyo

You know you're in Tokyo when there's a shrine or temple for everything

Written by
Kirsty Bouwers
Advertising

Shrines (jinja) and temples (tera) are a common sight in Tokyo and wider Japan, but some of them offer a bit of extra power for specific situations and wishes.

Illustrations by Kento Iida

To get ahead at work: Atago Shrine
  • Attractions
  • Religious buildings and sites
  • Kamiyacho

You’ll have to climb some seriously steep steps to get a chance at luck here. Eighty-six stone steps with a vertigo-inducing incline lead up to Atago Jinja, which is perched on namesake Mount Atago, the highest natural point within Tokyo’s 23 wards. The staircase is known as the ‘Shusse no Ishidan’ (‘Staircase to Promotion’): climb it and pray at the shrine, and your wishes of getting that raise may just come true. If a dude on horseback could do it to impress his samurai boss (as legend has it), you’ve got no excuses.

For an amicable split: Yo-unji
  • Attractions
  • Religious buildings and sites
  • Yotsuya-Sanchome

Usually you’d go to a shrine or temple to pray for luck in love. This little temple, however, is a bit unusual as it not only offers rather stylish votive tablets (ema) for marriage, but also for divorce – or rather, those wishing for an amicable divorce. It’s also said to be a good place if you’re looking to get rid of any stalkers (although the police station is probably a better bet).

Advertising
For students: Yushima Tenjin
  • Attractions
  • Religious buildings and sites
  • Yushima

This one is very popular with those needing a little extra push to get those all-important grades. That’s right, Yushima Tenjin is known for helping out in the academic department. Its omamori are very cute: they’re pocket-sized versions of randoseru, the schoolbags that elementary school kids in Japan are required to carry.

For a safe flight: Haneda Airport Shrine
  • Travel
  • Airports
  • Haneda Airport

Hidden away near the post office on the first floor of Haneda Airport’s Terminal 1 is this tiny shrine, dedicated to advancing the aviation industry and safe flying in general. Pop by before your flight if you need the extra confidence. If you have the time, you can also go to Haneda Shrine (3-9-12 Honhaneda, Ota), three train stops away from the airport, where they sell flight safety omamori shaped like planes.

Advertising
To keep your computer virus-free: Kanda Myojin
  • Attractions
  • Religious buildings and sites
  • Suehirocho

Known for hosting the Kanda Matsuri, one of Tokyo’s largest traditional festivals, Kanda Myojin (better known as Kanda Shrine) was established nearly 1,300 years ago. That doesn’t stop it from offering some seriously modern charms though: besides the general safety, health and love omamori (amulets) on offer, you can also buy the data protection omamori here. What? Yes, it’s a way of keeping your phone or computer virus-free and safe. Charms for internet health, so to speak.

For a good catch: Namiyoke Inari Shrine
  • Attractions
  • Religious buildings and sites
  • Tsukiji

The shrine with a serious mission and some seriously cool statues; vendors and fishermen at Tsukiji come here to pray for a good catch. ‘Namiyoke’ means ‘to repel waves’ – so it’s also for a safe passage. Besides that, there are several stones inscribed with specific characters inside the premises, including ones labelled 卵 (tamago, egg), 海老 (ebi, shrimp) and 昆布 (kombu, seaweed), all gifted by their respective trade unions.

More unique experiences in Tokyo

Six Japanese arcade games you need to try
  • Things to do
  • Weird & Wonderful

As uniquely Japanese as owl cafés, capsule hotels and naked festivals, video arcades – or ‘game centres’ – are an essential experience in Tokyo. Just come prepared for a full-contact affair

Tokyo fun fact: Everything here is tiny
  • Things to do
  • City Life

Tokyo may be a megapolis, but our 13 million-strong population (with an additional 29 million in greater Tokyo) means space is, well, limited. Enter a whole load of things that would probably be twice the size abroad, which have been squeezed into the tiniest of spaces here in the capital, for varying reasons.

Advertising
Some of the best things you can buy from vending machines in Tokyo
  • Things to do
  • City Life

With the highest per capita rate of vending machines in the world, Tokyo offers far, far more than your average press-and-go shoping experience. Don’t expect to just see drinks and junk food in machines – you’ll find almost all your human needs catered for, from piping hot soup to comic books, booze and umbrellas, all just a button away.

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising