OWL Magazine Korea

Nezu Shrine in Tokyo: Revering the Virgin Deity

In Japan, shrines reflecting indigenous beliefs of Shintoism can be found throughout the country. Each shrine is known for enshrining various deities, ranging from legendary figures to historical personalities and characters from anime works.

“Nezu Shrine: One of Tokyo’s Top 10 Shrines”

Located in the northern part of the Tokyo metropolitan area, particularly in the Yanesen region, Nezu is renowned for its shrine. Yanesen, a term encompassing Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi, exudes a nostalgic charm, preserving the old Tokyo ambiance.

Nezu Shrine, like many other shrines, enshrines specific deities. Notably, it houses five deities, including a virgin deity. This shrine is particularly known for its association with female visitors, and it holds a significant place as one of Tokyo’s top 10 shrines, as recognized by its selection in the early 1900s.

“Dorii: Gateway to the Shrine”

In discussions about iconic symbols representing shrines in Japan, the “dorii” is often mentioned. It is a large gate-like structure, typically painted in vermilion. In Shintoism, the dorii is considered a boundary between the divine realm and the ordinary world, serving as a gate or barrier.

While some shrines have a single grand dorii, others feature multiple gates lined up in succession. For instance, Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto boasts an endless row of dorii gates, and though Nezu Shrine may not match that scale, visitors can still find a path adorned with connected dorii gates. The belief associated with these gates suggests that entering from the north and exiting from the south helps dispel worldly distractions.

“Tranquil Atmosphere of Nezu Shrine”

Nezu Shrine perfectly harmonizes with the atmosphere of Yanesen. Despite being situated in the heart of Tokyo, it retains a somewhat distant and modest feel compared to the glitz of urban Tokyo. The shrine seems to uphold the quaint charm of old Tokyo, both in its surroundings and overall ambiance.

Stepping away from the vibrancy of the city, Nezu Shrine provides a respite—a place that has quietly maintained its position in nature for a long time. The tranquility of the shrine, coupled with the surrounding neighborhood, offers a brief escape from the pressures of modern life.

“Nezu Shrine in Tokyo”

  • Address: 1 Chome-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyō, Tokyo 113-0031, Japan
  • Phone: +81 3-3822-0753
  • Website: Nezu Shrine
  • Opening Hours: (March – September) 10:00 – 18:00 / (February, October) 10:00 – 17:30 / (November – January) 10:00 – 17:00