October 30, 2012

Hie Shrine in Akasaka

Hie Shrine, a Shinto shrine in the busy-on-weekdays, dead-on-weekends Nagatacho and Akasaka area.

The fairly long stairs leading up to the main gate. I can understand why an escalator was added to the west entrance.

I like how torii gates look impressive, but never imposing or forbidding.

The main gate, with monkeys flanking either side. The monkeys are actually a couple. Monkey play a special role in Hie Shrine, expressing matrimonial harmony, easy labor for babies, and prosperity of the family.

Husband monkey.
Barrels of sake from all over Japan.

I love how this large, beautiful space has been made acessible amidst all these skyscrapers.

A collection of ema (a wooden plaque on which people write their wishes) over the years. That most of them say, "I hope to get into ____ University" says everything about how we are raised to set goals for our lives in Japan, and the current era of disillusioned postgrads.

Another monkey sighting, next to the main shrine.

I'm guessing the baby was taken to the shrine to be blessed. There are similar pictures in our family album, except us kids are in Western clothing and don't look half as immaculate as this family.

The escalator on the west exit. More pictures to follow...

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