All About Japan

Visiting the Cradle of Japan

Miyazaki occupies a special place in Japanese history for a mountain town called Takachiho. For it was here the deity Ninigi-no-Mikoto, grandson of the sun goddess Amaterasu, is said to have descended to Earth.

Japan's Most Beautiful Armor Rests in Aomori

Kushihiki Hachiman-gu is a historical shrine in Hachinohe, Aomori, dating back to 1166. It's considered the most prestigious shrine built by the Nambu Clan, a samurai clan originating in northern Japan.

Searching for the Imperial Regalia of Japan

Japan's Imperial Regalia have only ever been seen by a select few. Here we try to demystify these national treasures, hunting down the sites where they are said to be located.

Throw 'Undama' at This Seaside Shrine

Udo Shrine in Miyazaki features a fun way to gain some good fortune!

5 Vital Temple & Shrine Etiquette Tips

While going to a temple or shrine simply to observe is satisfactory on its own, it's well worth learning how to fully participate to get the most out of the experience.

Interpreting the Key 'Omikuji'

These Japanese fortune-telling papers can bring you great blessings—or a great curse!

The Biggest Temple You've Never Heard Of

While many regions of Japan are world-renowned for their shrines and temples, sometimes it's the ones you've never heard of that leave the biggest impression.

The 3 Most Notable Animals of Shinto Shrines

Visitors at Shinto shrines often see animal statues or motifs near the entrance, inside the shrine or on signs. What do the most notable animals symbolize?

48 Hours in Kyoto on a Budget

This isn’t Kyoto for the faint-hearted. So lace up your comfy shoes and get ready to hit the pavement!

5 Stunning Temple & Shrine Videos

These five videos will instantly transport you to some of the most vivid temples and shrines in Japan!

Two Can't-Miss Shrines in Shizuoka

Shizuoka Prefecture houses the oldest Toshogu shrine in Japan, where shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu was laid to rest before being moved to Nikko. The shrine still contains part of his spirit.

3 Ways to Worship Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is an object of faith for Japanese people, and a place their hearts draw support from, as expressed by the official name under which it's registered as a Cultural World Heritage Site: 'Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration.'

5 Kyushu Shrines You Can't Miss

Shinto shrines can be found just about everywhere in Japan. But shrines in Kyushu are special, because Kyushu is, according to legend, home to the first places where the Shinto gods descended to Earth.

3 Ways to Get More Out of a Temple Visit

Three can't-miss activities during a Japanese temple or shrine pilgrimage.

A Guide to the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trails

Winding through the Kii Peninsula, these are the only UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage trails in Japan.

How to Purify Yourself at a Japanese Shrine

Purify yourself in 15 (not-so-complicated) steps!

5 Temples & Shrines for Design Lovers

These stylish temples and shrines juxtapose the traditional and the modern.

6 Differences Between Temples & Shrines

I decided, once and for all, to figure out the differences between a temple and a shrine.

4 Japanese Temples & Shrines in Hawaii

Hawaii is home to some stunning Japanese temples and shrines!

See Kyoto Mapped as it Once Was

So long as you have this map, you can feel as though you've slipped back into the Heian Period of Kyoto.

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