When you are in Tokyo you will most likely go to Ueno. And when you are in Ueno you shouldn’t miss the chance to make a short trip to the Nezu Shrine.
The Nezu Shrine is only a short walk away from the Ueno Park, only about 20 minutes by foot.
The thing I love most about going to shrines and parks in Tokyo is, that even though you’re right in the middle of a gigantic city you can enjoy the calm of nature and religious places and calm down a bit from the hectic stress of the city.
You enter the Nezu Shrine through a pretty big, red Torii. There is a small stream to your left and a pond to your right where you can sit on a large rock in the shade of the trees and just watch the Koi and tortoises, or just read a book and relax for a bit.
You cross the small stream over a bridge and come to the main shrine where you can buy beautiful Omamori (the Talismans that have a prayer inside of them for different purposes like love, happiness or passing the exam 😉 ) or you get a small future prophesy on paper telling you if you will have great luck, luck or even bad luck! Don’t worry, in the case of bad luck you can just fold the paper and string it up where all the other papers are to ward off the bad luck 😉 . And you can also get your Goshuin there, if you collect the stamps.
When you then go to the left there is a special treat. A long row of red Torii forms a road there reminiscent of the Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto (just a lot smaller). And as the Shrine (unlike Asakusa and Harajuku) isn’t a very well known Tourist spot most of the time, you will be able to walk through it without a horde of people coming along.
If you go at the right time of the year (sometime in the beginning of April) you will also be able to see all of the Azalea bushes, that are all over the Shrine compound, blooming which must be quite beautiful. I have sadly only heard of this after I went there at the end of April when it was already over… But at that time there are a lot of people, as it is very well known in Japan that there is the Azalea Matsuri (festival) at that time so it depends on what you personally like better. Pretty flowers and many people, or a calm visit to a beautiful Shrine.
Whatever you like better I hope you have a nice time there 🙂