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Ikejiri Inari Shrine in Tokyo

Take a moment to breathe at this neighbourhood shrine

One spring I broke my leg in an accident, and was in hospital in the middle of Tokyo for three weeks. The view from my room took in what looked like a shrine, so as soon as I was able I went for a hobble around it.

It's a remarkable oasis from what's around it: it's immediately next to a busy road with a flyover around it, but there's somehow still a peaceful atmosphere, as if you were in the suburbs or countryside (provided you ignore the surrounding buildings).

There are two entrances: one from the main road, with dozens of colourful lanterns, one from a side street, with three statues which rather left me wondering what was happening in their lives.

In the shrine grounds, there's the main prayer hall, which when I visited was decorated with colourful drapes hanging from the bells, and a couple of little side shrines, all watched over by regal-looking komainu guardian wolf-dogs.

Getting there

The shrine is roughly half-way between Sangenjaya and Ikejiri-Ohashi stations, both on the Tokyo Den-En-Toshi train line, or you can walk from Shibuya station in around 20-25 minutes.