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Hie shrine: A silent witness of Tokyo's bygone days

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By Abhijit Sen

One of Tokyo’s most important shrines, whose existence dates back to the Kamakura period, is located on a small hilltop of Nagatacho. Despite being at the heart of one of the world’s busiest cities, the surrounding greenery fills this Shinto shrine with peace and tranquility.

It has a special connection to the Tokugawa clan. When Lord Ieyasu Tokugawa made Edo Castle his residence, Hie jinja (shrine) was revered as the “protector of the Tokugawa family.”

Home to one of Tokyo’s biggest festivals

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Held annually during summer, the Sanno festival is one of the biggest festivals in Tokyo. Image: iStock/ PhotoNetwork

The enshrined deity of Hie shrine is called Oyamakui no Kami (the guardian and protector of the city of Tokyo). People usually come to this shrine to pray for safe childbirth, marriage and prosperity in business.

In mid-June, Hie Shrine presents the Sanno Festival, one of Tokyo’s three major festivals. During the festival, a grand 300-meter parade runs through central Tokyo. Worshippers dance and sing to the beat of taiko drums and exhibit hundreds of lanterns dedicated to the deity.

A shrine guarded by monkeys

Click here to read more.

© GaijinPot

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