Shinto Shrine Tour: Understanding Japanese Culture
Understand and learn about Japanese lifestyle and culture that was derived from Shinto thousands of years in the making by visiting three famous Shinto Shrines in Tokyo in this 3-hour small group tour.
- In this three-hour small group Shinto Tour, visit three famous Shinto Shrines in Tokyo with the tour guide who gives you some interest information about a way of life, rather than a religion of the Japanese people.
- Shinto began as a practice to honor and appease the deities and spirits of Japan. The ancient Japanese believed that by honoring these spirits, the number of natural disasters such as tsunamis, typhoons, floods and even volcanic eruptions could be reduced or prevented. This belief has driven the construction of over 100,000 independent shrines all over Japan, each enshrining a different spirit for worship.
- As legend has it, the spirits are more likely to be present at a shrine early in the morning. Therefore, the tour will begin at 8:50 AM. Guests will meet the guide at Harajuku Station before heading to Meiji-Jingu Shrine which is notably the most popular and most sacred Shinto Shrine in Tokyo—as the Emperor (the head priest of the Shinto Shrine)—is enshrined there. At Meiji-Jingu Shrine, learn the basics of Shintoism, how to purify yourself with water at the temizuya before meeting the diety, how to pray for good fortune, and why the 100 years of history and 100,000 trees planted at this shrine are so important to the people of Japan according to Shintoism.
- Guests will visit two other shrines after Meiji-Jingu. One shrine grants a good love life and marriage, where guests may learn the significance and story behind the traditional Japanese marriage ceremony, while the last shrine is known to attribute to business success and prosperity in pop culture (Japanese pop group, AKB48, traditionally visits this shrine every year, believing that their success is due to the deity and spirits that reside at this shrine).
- The tour will end at 12 PM.
Availability: Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 9 AM to 12 PM (except holidays)
Location: at Harajuku Station (Omotesando Exit)
Further information and directions will be provided after booking.
- Shinto Shrine Tour only:
- Standard (join small group):
- 2 or more people: 9000 JPY per person
- 1 person only: 18,000 JPY per person
- Private (your group only):
- 2 or more people: 13,500 JPY per person
- 1 person only: 27,000 JPY per person
- Standard (join small group):
- Add-on Tokyo 4-hour Tour
Add-on: The 4-Hour Private Tokyo Tour will include an English-speaking guide. This tour will be conducted after the Modern History Tour, from 12 PM to 4 PM. Public transportation costs are included. Admission fee or other optional activity fees for guests and tour guides are not included.
- Add-on Yanaka Tour
Add-on: The Yanaka 2-hour Tour add-on option will visit Yanaka after the Shinto Shrine tour (from 12 to 2 PM with a short lunch break in between based on guests’ preference). Yanaka is one of the few districts in Tokyo where the shitamachi atmosphere, an old town ambiance reminiscent of Tokyo from past decades, still survives.
- Professional guide and Shinto expert
- Photo opportunities
- Entrance fees
- Public transportation between the different shrines included
- Food and drinks
- Gratuities (optional)
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Transportation to/from meet-up and departure point
As the shrines in Japan are sacred places, we ask that all guests dress appropriately (no short skirts or shorts, or articles of clothing with an excessive amount of skin exposure). We also recommend smart casual attire with comfortable shoes, as there will be a moderate amount of walking.
There is no age requirement, but a reservation must be made for all guests, and the cost is the same for all ages.
All bookings is payable via Stripe (Booking Checkout) or PayPal. Confirmations regarding your booking will be sent at least 10 days before your activity date.
Standard Cancellation Policy
- We will charge a cancellation fee of 100% if booking is cancelled 5 days or less before event
- We will charge a cancellation fee of 50% if booking is cancelled 7 days or less before event
- We will charge a cancellation fee of 25% if booking is cancelled 10 days or less before event
There is a non-refundable 3% service fee for all bookings. Refunds (that are not subject to a cancellation fee) will include the ticket price less the 3% service fees. If an event is cancelled or postponed by Japan Awaits, refunds will be for the entire purchase—that includes the ticket price and the service fees.
What is Shintoism?
Shinto (神道, Shintō), or kami-no-michi is the ethnic belief of Japan that focuses on ritual practices to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past.
Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written historical records in the 8th century. However, these early Japanese writings do not refer to a unified “Shinto religion”, but rather to a collection of native beliefs and mythology. Shinto today is the practice and belief of public shrines devoted to the worship of a multitude of gods (kami), suited to various purposes such as war memorials and harvest festivals, and applies as well to various sectarian organizations.