If this wasn’t where you saw your thread going, @DIO-Berry, let me know and I can slow down. Or stop.
This is apparently the oldest shrine in Kanazawa, though I’m honestly not sure what drew me to it - we just happened to be walking past on the way to Kenroku-en. They were setting up for some manner of festival, but we didn’t stay long enough to find out what.
One of the noteworthy things about this shrine is that the main gate is not a Japanese-style torii nor a Chinese-style structure, but this three-storey European tower, complete with stained glass (though there is a torii gate at the bottom of the entrance stairs). Unfortunately, I’d forgotten the second spare battery for my camera this day, so I have comparatively few photos of this place (managed by squeezing every last volt from the other two batteries).
One of the Twenty-Two Shrines (i.e. those designated by the Emperor as being of particular importance), this shrine is related to Enryaku-ji, the temple complex on mount Hiei. It’s also known for its Sannou style torii gates (depicted below). Unfortunately, we arrived here after a long day of exploring Enryaku-ji, so it was quite closed, and I haven’t actually been inside. Next time, perhaps.
Fushimi Ward, Kyoto
Again, yes, but this time there’s a festival on. (Actually, I think this is the only shrine in Japan that I’ve actually visited twice. So far, anyway.) Specifically, it’s the Shinko Festival, one of Fushimi Inari’s two biggest festivals, when all the mikoshi get taken out to a place near Kyoto Station, where they convey blessings on the area (the other biggest festival is when they come back again). There were many people. And an alley with festival booths. And I’m going to have to visit again sometime, because I still haven’t climbed to the top of the mountain…
This is the shrine where the national karuta tournament is held in January (for all-comers) and July (for high-school students). Though my friend and I visited in April - same day as Fushimi Inari above, actually, and they were also holding a festival, the Omi Matsuri. (It’s not always the same day as Fushimi Inari’s Shinko Festival, because they judge the date a bit differently, but they quite often coincide.) In contrast to Fushimi Inari, my friend and I were most certainly the only caucasians present. We might have even been the only people present who didn’t actually live in Otsu, because it definitely felt like a festival of the local neighbourhoods - each one had their own mikoshi. We were able to walk right into the inner courtyard, which you can’t usually do. (I bought my second shuincho here - the sakura-pink one.)
Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo
Happened to come across this while wandering around in the forest after visiting Nunobuki Falls. Very closed for the night, but very pretty.
Tennoji Ward, Osaka
I came here looking for a point of interest I’d seen in Pokemon Go - a segment of the Berlin Wall - but it turned out to be located in the temple standing behind it. It was very pretty nonetheless, though. Very leafy. Though also raining.
Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka
Supposedly one of the oldest shrines in Japan, it’s also the ur-example of the Sumiyoshi-zukuri architectural style.
Chuo Ward, Chiba
Definitely not one of the oldest shrines in Japan - the main hall actually looked quite modern. Some of the structures seemed so substantial that it almost felt like a temple, but no, it’s a shrine. (Just learnt now that it was built as a temple in the year 1000, but converted to a shrine in the Meiji Restoration, so there you go.)
Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
Noteworthy in that it contains a Fujizaka - a miniature version of Mount Fuji built with actual rocks from Mount Fuji, so that you can do your mountain worship without having to leave the city. Apparently it’s Tokyo’s oldest Fujizaka.
Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo
I mainly visited this place only because I was aiming for a different temple, but hadn’t realised that the map I was looking at was upside-down (wall maps in Japan tend to be oriented so that up is the direction you’re currently facing, and at the time, I was facing south). It was extremely pretty, all the same. Part of it’s an Inari shrine, which is an added benefit. And it’s also got Sannou torii.
And thus endeth my third trip in Japan. A couple fewer shrines this time - I did this trip with a friend, and I’m kinda wondering if I unconsciously scheduled fewer shrine and temple visits than when I travelled alone.