Inarin, the mascot of Toyokoawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin in Akasaka, Tokyo

This Week in Tokyo – 30 June 2020

Mac, Founder and Lead Guide of Maction Planet, shares his adventures on his Maction-sanctioned socially-distanced walk around Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin on Monday 29 June 2020 in this week’s ‘This Week in Tokyo’! 

Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin (豊川稲荷東京別院) is a Buddhist temple of the Soto Zen sect, which enshrines Toyokawa Dakini-shinten, also identified as the Senju Kannon. It is located in Akasaka.

Read Tokyo Authority’s Ultimate Guide to Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin (written by me) for more on the history and traditions of this historic shrine. 

I highly recommend reading this article as the history of this temple is complex and fascinating and deeply connected with the development of Japan’s unique system of Shinbutsu shugo, the intertwinement of Buddhism and Shintoism.

Header and Featured image: Me and Inarin, the mascot of Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin in Akasaka, Tokyo

Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin in Akasaka, Tokyo

The presences of thousands of Fox Statues at Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin Temple is a photographers dream.

Temizuya fountain at Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin in Akasaka, Tokyo

The temizuya at the entrance to a shrine or temple’s inner grounds is a where worshippers purify the body before entering by wash their hands and mouth. The intertwined dragons which form the spout of the temizuya at Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin is one of my favourite in Tokyo.

Ema at Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin in Akasaka, Tokyo

Ema are votive tablets found at shrines and temples on which worshippers write their wishes. Akasaka was formerly an entertainment district, so the shrine has come to be associated with celebrities and showbiz. Look closely and you can see a lot of love on display for Snow Man, a Japanese boy band formed by Johnny & Associates in 2012 who made their official debut on 22 January 2020.

Ebisu statue at Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin in Akasaka, Tokyo

All Seven Gods of Fortune are enshrined within the grounds of Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin. Here’s my favourite, Ebisu, with his trademark fishing rod and tail, sea bream.

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