When planning a trip to Japan, there are of course numerous places that you can visit. To narrow down your choices, you should probable plan the trip according to your interests. For anime enthusiasts, an anime pilgrimage is in order! Of course, this means shopping for anime stuff, but also visiting real life locations in Japan that have appeared in anime. You can check the 10 photo spots of real life anime locations article.
How about blending different interests? Shrines and anime are two Japanese things that sometimes get combined. Here are 5 shrines in Japan that have appeared in anime and you can visit in real life!
The Kanda Myojin Shrine is a Shinto shrine near Akihabara and Kanda. Because of its proximity to the electronic district and otaku paradise that is Akihabara, it has become a mecca for otaku. People who visit the shrine pray for success in business, marriage, and good health.
The shrine is home to the Kanda Festival, one of the three major Shinto festivals in Japan and is held every two years during May. The shrine is also a popular choice for people during the Shichi-Go-San Festival.
For the Love Live! fandom, the Kanda Myojin Shrine is a beloved place that holds precious memories. The shrine has appeared numerous times throughout the Love Live! series. One of the members of μ’s, Tojo Nozomi, worked as a shrine maiden here. The members of μ’s also used this as a place for their training. In Love Live! Sunshine!!, the members of Aqours also visited the shrine.
Kanda Shrine (aka the Love Live shrine) pic.twitter.com/bzH8zWwEvc
— Gabby Snyder (@GabbySnyder) October 31, 2016
Yushima Tenmangu is another Shinto shrine in Tokyo, walking distance from no.1 on this list – Kanda Myojin Shrine. This shrine is dedicated to Tenjin, the kami (god) of learning. Thus, this shrine is frequently visited by students praying for success in their respective exams. Tenjin also has a connection to plum trees, which is why the shrine maintains a lot of plum trees in its area. It also celebrates a plum tree blossom festival in either February or March depending when the trees are in full bloom.
Delivery God Yato from the anime, Noragami, who takes in job requests for five yen, visited this shrine in one of the show’s episodes.
— F・N (@06260129kousan) April 4, 2016
Oumi Jingu is a Shinto shrine in Otsu, Shiga prefecture. The “Jingu” in its name means that it is connected to the Imperial House of Japan. The Karuta Matsuri, a Japanese tournament for competitive karuta (Japanese playing cards), is held here every January. Because of the shrine’s connection to competitive karuta, it appears in Chihayafuru, an anime about the card game.
Every year, before the tournament starts, participants visit the shrine and pray for success in the competition. When you visit the shrine, you will get to see some karuta cards displayed and is a great opportunity for everyone to know more about this sport.
Gotta do a Chihayafuru pilgrimage when it comes to Omi Jingu! pic.twitter.com/NicbdBMPTS
— KiRIN@いつも眠い(；・∀・) (@thatredsky) April 7, 2016
Chichibu Shrine in Saitama is the shrine that appeared in the popular anime, Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. The Shinto shrine is home to the Chichibu Night Festival, a popular fireworks festival in the area. The shrine is well known among Saitama and Tokyo people, but the anime is what made this shrine popular among anime fans, especially foreigners who probably didn’t know about the shrine before.
In the anime, the main characters always hold important talks at Chichibu Shrine.
And anohana shrine pic.twitter.com/MBze4GRygm
— Guy (@guy_kun) April 27, 2016
The last shrine in this article is Washinomiya Shrine which appeared in the anime, Lucky Star. Located in Kuki, Saitama, Washinomiya Shrine is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in the Kanto region.
In the anime, the actual shrine inspired “Takanomiya Shrine,” which is also the home of the Hiiragi sisters. Because of the shrine’s connection to the popular anime, Washinomiya (now Kuki City) experienced an economic boost from anime-related tourism. This has happened with a lot of other more obscure shrines and the small towns they’re in, suddenly attracting an influx of visitors they were unable to attract before.
— Jurnal Otaku Indonesia (@jurnalotaku) August 14, 2018
Seeing real-life places in anime is always interesting because you can get a chance to visit the location. While it is exciting that these shrines appear in popular culture, one must always remember to be respectful when visiting these shrines. Whether you are on an anime pilgrimage or have personal intentions of your own, these shrines can be a perfect addition to your itinerary.
Feature photo by Xtra, Inc. on Unsplash