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Shhh! It’s a Shrine! 3 Temples to go to for your Eat, Pray, Love Moment

You’ve read the book. You’ve seen Julia Roberts’ gorgeous mug in the movie. We’ve all wanted it. That Eat, Pray, Love moment. It may not be at all the reality you expect it to be when you get there, but if you are going to go for it in Japan, you better believe you need to know what shrines to visit to find your spiritual balance. I personally prefer to go to the hidden ones around cemeteries. For some reason, they seem more peaceful to me. I like to see the mini “shrines” that represent gravestones for loved ones to visit when someone passes away. I like that people bring

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What is Shichi Fukujin, the 7 Lucky Gods?

Shichi Fukujin (七福神), known in English as Seven Lucky Gods or Seven Gods of Happiness, are seven gods of good fortune in Japanese mythology and folklore. These seven gods were chosen from Hinduist, Buddhist, Taoist and Shintoist deities and became famous during Edo period. The origins are unsure, but it is believed to be related to the essential virtues of the man around 17th century (longevity, fortune, popularity, candor, amiability, dignity, and magnanimity). The Japanese legend is the seven gods travel in a ship called Takarabune which is filled with treasures and come from the sea bringing fortune and prosperity to beleivers during New Year’s Eve. The seven Gods are:

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Shrines, Temples and Heritage: Cultural Tranquility at Its Finest

Ahhh, so many wondrous shrines and temples in Japan, but how do you fit them all in your visit, or at least, how to make the most of what’s available? If you’re someone who truly needs a designated plan when traveling to these sanctuaries, because you’re worried about missing out, then this guide below is definitely for you. But first, a little background – trust me. You’ll want to know what you’re visiting and what encompasses these magnificent structures. It definitely helps, as it will allow you much more appreciation and understanding for what they represent.  Shintoism Versus Buddhism Two of the major religious bases in Japan are – Shintoism and Buddhism.

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Sanctuaries of Reverence: Tranquility Every Visitor Should Experience

A shrine is a sacred space constructed to honor a holy entity. A sanctuary if you will, where people go to pay their respects and worship. In America, kids create shrines in the name of their chosen deities like Beyonce and Leonardo Dicaprio. Undoubtedly legitimate, but this is not America. In Japan, Shinto shrines are places to consult your ancestors and local kami. Kami (Shinto deity): they’re superior and mysterious forces of this world, which have the power to bestow happiness or misfortune upon humans. They dwell in natural elements like plants, rivers and sakura trees, animals, people, motorways: many things. Although Japanese tradition mentions the number eight hundred, The Eight Hundred Myriads, such spirits are potentially infinite

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There is something – Meiji Jingu

In the middle of Tokyo there’s a forest, where people go good naturally on a winters day to talk to gods and listen to them. Meiji Shrine in Shibuya-ku was constructed in honour of, and enshrines the souls of, two most beloved deities. The Emperor Meiji (1852-1912) was responsible for the re-opening of Japan following 200 years of isolationism, and gingerly manoeuvred its passage into the modern world. He introduced Western ‘civilisation’ whilst fastidiously preserving the identity and integrity of traditional Japanese culture. The Empress Shoken – the beloved mother of our nation – “assisted the Emperor behind the scenes during this eventful and difficult Meiji period” says the pamphlet.

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