A bit of time on my hands before flying out of Tokyo, I took a short stroll from my hotel and headed off to visit nearby Haneda Shrine. After an enjoyable sojourn at Haginaka Park, Haneda Shrine turned out to be quite the pleasant Tokyo shrine.
Bordered along the south by the Tama River as it flows into Tokyo Bay, the Honhaneda district sits right by Haneda Airport. Clean, and serviceable, the area's main claim to fame is Haneda Shrine. Though quiet during the time of my visit, this Shinto shrine is quite popular for travellers and business people seeking assurances in air safety.
The shrine is very well maintained and one of the highlights of a visit here most certainly has to be the mikoshi portable shrine. Sitting in its storeroom, the glass doors allow a clear view of the shrine when it is not in use and all of its remarkable detail is quite evident. Come the final weekend of July, the mikoshi is brought out and paraded annually through crowds of tens of thousands during the famous Haneda Festival.
Established some eight hundred years ago during the Kamakura era, the shrine's deities were enshrined by wealthy lords while during the Edo period, the Tokugawa shoguns made regular visits to offer their respects. The shrine is also home to a fujizaka. Sitting behind the shrine's main hall, fujizaka can be found all over Tokyo and are relics from an Edo-period Mt. Fuji cult. Several metres high, fujizaka feature rocks sourced from the real Mt. Fuji and serve as spiritual substitutes for pilgrims unable to make the ascent of the real Mt. Fuji.
Simple, well maintained, and loaded with history and tradition, Haneda Shrine is an easy visit, being only a few minutes from Haneda Airport.