A Shrine of Pink

I’ve been living in Setagaya ward for 3 years, but only found out about this little gem down the road this week. Seriously – it baffles me how much of my area, let alone the whole of Tokyo, I’m still yet to discover. This is one of the reasons I love living in Tokyo – you could never get bored!

Sakura Jingu is a small Shinto shrine that was built in 1882. Every shrine has a different purpose, and this one’s originally was to protect people against sicknesses. Because the shrine escaped damage from the Great Kanto Earthquake and WWII when the rest of the city was flattened, it came to be known as a protector against fire and natural disasters, too.

During spring, the shrine grounds are painted pink as the kawazu-zakura and then somei-yoshino bloom. These beautiful trees gave the shrine its name: sakura jingu (cherry blossom shrine). Usually, visitors write their wishes on plaques called Ema and hang them up in hopes the gods listen. But at Sakura Jingu, they do things a little differently. People write their wishes on pink ribbons and tie them to the sakura trees! They were so well camouflaged I only realised they were there after standing right in front of the tree. Cuteness overload!

Right now, the kawazu-zakura have just passed their peak and green leaves are shooting out in all directions. In a few weeks the somei-yoshino will be in full bloom so we’ll have another chance to see this gorgeous sight!

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29 thoughts on “A Shrine of Pink

  1. A great find of Sakura Jingu and your photos of it are marvelous! You are fortunate to be already experiencing spring. Nothing is blooming outside here as temperatures are below freezing and more snow is coming.

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  2. Gorgeous Celia! I have used this as inspiration for post #135 scheduled for the 12th March on “You Inspire Me” I have linked it back to you so please keep an eye out!

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  3. 咲き誇る花に混じって、ピンクのリボンが たくさん見えます。
    桜神宮ならではの光景ですね。百年以上も前に 後世の人々のために 
    植えられた桜の木が 今年も花を咲かせていること、すばらしいです。
    河津桜と染井吉野は どのように ちがいますか。
    桜の木にも たくさんの種類がありますよね。

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    • 樹齢100年から1000年の桜の木、ずっと昔から木の手入れをする人がいたことに感銘します!その知らない人々に感謝しています。
      ソメイヨシノが一番有名ですが、カワヅザクラの開花期間は約1ヶ月で、花びらが大きくてピンク色な桜ですよ。

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  4. Hi Celia,
    Great find and beautiful introduction to the Cherry Blossom season. Judging from your photos, the shrine lives up to its name of Sakura Jingu. It has just ticked into Autumn here and nature has decided to throw a few 40C days (or thereabouts) at us, so thanks for these refreshing shots :).
    John

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    • Oh man, I don’t miss those 40ºC days at all when all you want to do is sit in the fridge! Hope it starts cooling down for you soon. Glad to have been of some help with theses pics, haha.
      Cheers :)

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  5. Pingback: #135 Cherry Blossoms – You Inspire Me

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