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It’s difficult to visit Japan without tripping over at least a dozen shrines and temples.  While most of the Japanese population wouldn’t consider themselves particularly religious, many practice the standard rituals of visiting shrines, saying a prayer, and drawing fortunes.  The young go hoping for favorable test scores or new love; others simply wish for good luck and good health.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

Either way, they’re worth a visit for the unique architecture and intricate designs.  They make for fun photos.  And perhaps a visit will bring you good fortune as well.  If not, you can always tie it to leave the bad luck behind.

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  1. Yes, great point on the presence of shrines and temples. I was surprised to see so many shrines and temples within Tokyo. We stayed near Ueno park and we were dazzled by Kaneiji Temple. Do you have any recommendations for shrines in Kobe, Kyoto, or Osaka? We just traveled within Tokyo and Kyushu, so we are looking for advice. Check out our latest post on shrines too!

  2. We went to many shrines while in Japan, even some right outside of Ueno Park – beautiful area! (https://lotsasmilesphoto.com/2015/12/15/japan-day-6-ueno-shibuya/) As for recommendations, there are so many! Sensoji Shrine is of course very popular in Asakusa (Tokyo). If you go, do check out Komakata Dozeu – best meal ever if you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks! (full post: https://lotsasmilesphoto.com/2015/12/11/japan-day-5-asakusa/)

    We didn’t go to any shrines in Osaka, and we didn’t get to Kobe, so all I can otherwise offer is Kyoto. Fushimi Inari is an absolute must (https://lotsasmilesphoto.com/2015/11/20/taste-of-japan-nighttime-shrines/), and there is an AMAZING taiyaki stand right at the train stop. Shrines are everywhere in Kyoto; we loved wandering up the Philosopher’s Path and popping into a few (https://lotsasmilesphoto.com/2016/01/05/japan-day-10-kyoto/). Kiyomizu is also very popular in Kyoto; I would recommend getting there as early as you can (check hours) (https://lotsasmilesphoto.com/2016/01/08/japan-day-11-kiyomizu-osaka/).

    We did a lot while we were there! You can browse all of our adventures here: https://lotsasmilesphoto.com/2015/11/24/japan/ Please do provide updates with where you end up going; I’d love to hear all about it! And I’ll be sure to check out your latest posts, too 🙂

    1. Wow! We will check out your posts for Kyoto. We loved the shrines in Tokyo and Kamakura. We are now in Beppu in southern Japan. My wife will post about our experience with the various onsens here. Almost daily updates of our trip from our travels on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bigsmall_travel/ and videos every 1-2 weeks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrXnzOd8oIU&t=14s Also, follow Big and Small Travel on WordPress for more detailed posts on Japan.

      Thanks for all of the info!

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