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Climb a Faux Mt. Fuji at Shinagawa Shrine

A leisurely day’s stroll around Shinagawa

Shinagawa doesn’t often feature in many travelers’ itineraries. Yet this neighborhood is perfect for people who want to escape the hectic chaos of the capital and explore a much quieter area shaded by tall trees. Why not enjoy a stroll in a shrine, admire its beautiful exquisite architecture, and buy some lucky amulets to take home? If the weather is agreeable, look no further than Shinagawa Shrine.

Shinagawa Shrine is one of the ten top shrines in Tokyo. The shrine often bustles with people who come to pray, especially during major festivals such as New Year’s Day. It is situated very close to the Shin-Bamba train station. After walking a few minutes, we could see a towering temple gate greeting travellers who drop by. Next to the gate is a kind-looking statue of the shrine’s god. Just beyond the statue, tall steps lead to the main shrine. The small hill to the left of the main shrine hall is known as Fujizuka, or imitation Mt Fuji. Fujizuka is only about 15 meter tall and was built for those who cannot climb the real Fuji, so they still have a chance to summit this imitation Fuji. The story of the imitation Fuji is that it was built from lava that flowed out of the real Fuji, so that those who climb it can say they have conquered Mount Fuji itself.

The path up Fujizuka is quite narrow and steep, so you have to walk carefully. There are signs telling you what station you’ve reached, just like walking up the real Mt Fuji. At the top, enjoy views of the beautiful Shinagawa area. They say that in times past, one could view the real Fuji from here. Unfortunately, the houses and tall buildings of modern Tokyo have since blocked the view.

Next to Fujizuka is Shinagawa Shrine, where visitors can pray and purchase lucky amulets. In addition to the main shrine, there are many red torii gates on the right lining the path to a small shrine. Inside there is a fountain shaped like a coin. It is believed that if you pray here, you will get good fortune and happiness.

After conquering the imitation Fuji and praying in the shrine, I used that as an excuse to sit back and relax. Not far from the shrine there is a local famous shaved ice shop call ‘Sweets Ichounoki’ which has many creative dishes on the menu. Simply cross the street and walk toward Kita-Shinagawa station then turn right into the first alley. You will see the shop right on the roadside. If you go there in the late afternoon, you will find the shop even more easily because of the queue of customers that often forms. How good is it? You’ll just have to try it for yourself. You can’t miss it!

How to get to the shrine

Take the Keikyu line to Shin-Bamba station. From there, it’s a short 1-minute walk to the shrine.

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