The main hall is flanked on both the left and right by smaller shrines. Even in this newly constructed shrine in a contemporary suburban neighborhood the attention to traditional detail is noticeable.
Upon almost reaching the end of the covered stairways, there is a small landing where one is greeted by a small red Shinto shrine dedicated to a local deity.
This is the view from the place where most visitors stop to pray. One pulls the rope visible to the right and bows.
This photo was taken from the right of the main hall.
This white torii stands on the main pathway of the shrine, about halfway between the main gate and the main shrine hall
The two large lanterns flanking the approach are noteworthy.
These stairs lead from the main street to a small shrine in the forest behind the houses visible to the right.
Along the side of the steps up the side of the mountain, one sees this Jizo figure. The Jizo is a spirit that cares for the souls of children who have died and the Jizo statues are very common throughout Japan, especially in temple compounds. The offerings left with this Jizo are interesting and mildly humorous, since the offerings include a container of "One Cup Ozeki," a brand of sake that can be purchased from vending machines. Also interesting are the branches in the vases, which appear to be branches of sakaki, a plant usually associated with Shinto, although there frequently are "cross-overs" between Buddhist and Shinto practices in Japan. (Sake, likewise, is usually associated with the Shinto offerings of sake, salt, and rice, associated with purification, as seen in images from the Hachiman Shrine in Morioka.) Some excellent information in these areas may be found in the Colorado College collection dealing with Japanese religion, materials contributed by Professor David Gardiner.
As described in image 000058, this young boy has been brought to the Hachiman Shrine in Morioka, for the celebration of Shichigosan, Seven-five-three Day, when prayers are offered for the good fortune of girls who are seven or three years old and for boys who are five years old. This young lad, hoping that his father takes the photo quickly, because the sun in his eyes is bright, is dressed in his best formal traditional dress.
When an infant is one month old, it is taken by its parents to the local shrine for miyamairi, a birth ritual. By this ritual, the infant becomes a member of the shrine and is placing under the protection of the kami, the guardian spirit of the shrine. Traditionally, this is an infant's first trip out of its home.
Stone torii gate at the entrance to the main shrine at Miyajima.
A building at a shrine in Nagasaki. Note the traditional rice-rope decoration hanging above the doorway.
A tree blossoms in Engakuji, Kamakura.
A wooden trellis at a Nara Shinto shrine being used to hang fortunes on.
Priests ring an enormous bronze bell during a celebration at Yasaka Shrine.
A stone lantern sits surrounded by rectangular pillars.
On a man-made island in the middle of a small river sits several statues and pillars in honor of the river god.
Photo of a Shinto street festival in Nagasaki.
Inside we see a small mirror, which is often present in a shrine as an embodiment (shintai) of the kami. There are also small containers visible that may be filled with water, rice or even sake as offerings.
Approaching the main hall from the stairs one can see this small shrine to the left. Behind it is the massive main hall.
Just inside the first torii gate, which here is gray concrete, is this vermillion second torii. The cars parked here are likely affiliated with the shrine. If the open areas of the shrine were available for parking they would always be full in this crowded city.
This young woman sits in the shade on a ledge beside the main hall. She holds her cell phone and either reads or sends an email message.
Between the large entrance gate and the main shrine hall is a large circle made of rope.
This warrior helmet is priced at 30,000 yen (roughly $250).