Tokyo Jissha

The clock is ringing before 8am. Wow. In Germany is still 2012. Strange. Today I have a big plan: Tokyo Jissha, 10 shrines in Tokyo, in one day. I hope this is possible. If I remember all be people in front of the Yushima Tenmangu, this project will have some difficulties. After the breakfast a brief view to the shrine. Yes. This 200m long queue is still there.

(1) Kanda Myoin — even mor people. The whole palce is filled with Japanese. Everywhere are small booths with yakisoba, Takoyaki, Oden; an endless list. I ignore the queue and walk to the desk window. I have my first ema and also the big plate to mount all 10 ema. There is a dragon dance performing on a stage. Like 2008 the dragon “eats” your money. The deities are bribeable. No time to embrace the moment in full. I have a schedule.

(2) Nezu Jinja — I know the way. I am confused. Only a few people and no booths. The complete opposite of Kanda. Lucky for me. My second ema.

(3) Hakusan –I walk the short distance. It is a smaller shrine and also not many people. Getting in, getting out. Again I saved a lot of time.

(4) Oji Jinja –Lucky for me that this shrine is close to the train station. It is a nice shrine in North. Something for an advanced Tokyo trip. Here again are booths and a long queue. It is 11:55am; 4 shrines in 2 hours. This is good. Now I have a long train trip via Akihabara to my next destination. For a moment I think about using a shinkansen. Why? Because I can.

(5) Kameida Tenjin –This take a whiel to walk there. Over 30 minutes from Oji. At the shrine I have to use the backdoor. This place really is crowded. But at the backdoor I have to pass all the booths. The way is packed like on a christmas market. Traffic Jam. It takes some tome but I declare Half Time. A good moment to drink some Amasame.

(6) Tomioka Hachimangu –This queue is long, very long. The police has closed parts of the 6 lane street. The shrine is hidden but worth a visit. I talk to Japanese women; in fluent English.

(7) Shiba Daijungu –this is a smaller shrine I usually would skip. The next shrine I know. I get nervous. 3 Shrines left and it is already 3pm.

(8) Hikawa Jinja –I walk from Roppongi station. A different approach than last time.

(9) Hie Jinja –This shrine is only 15 minutes away by walking. A big stairway leads up to shrine. I saw the stairs 2010 but I never imagined that they belong to a shrine. Wow. They even have an escalator. Again I get stuck between dozen of booths. Now only one last ema is missing.

Tokyo Jissha

(10) Shinagawa Jinja — In theory a simple thing. Toei Asakusa Line. But I jump into the airport Express and miss my stop. 8 stations later I can change direction. Dawn is already in progress. But this diversion gives me the chance to spot the Fuji. It is the first time I see this vulcan from Tokyo. The local arrives the correct station after 5pm. A critical time. And then I run completely around the shirne because I miss the entrance. There are still people here waiting in a queue. But the windows where I can buy the ema are closed. I ask at the shrine office. No problem. My Tokyo Jissha is complete. All ten in one day.

Ok. I cheated. I didn’t prayed. But if I sum up all the queues, I would have need 4 days. Back to Kando Myoin, to complete the circle. 6pm and still a queue. Time for nihonshu and oden.

The booths at Yushima Tenmangu are already closed. Back to the hotel for a hot bath. Now I watch “Dinner for One”. Somehow a New Years Eve tradition in Germany. A brief stop at a Izakaya and then I have to pack my stuff. Tomorrow I will visit the palace, the dragon dance and the tea ceremony. And I also travel to Bessho Onsen.

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