Adventures in East Asia

The Tiny Asakusa Hikan Inari Shrine

The Hikan Inari Shrine is a tiny place behind the domineering Senso-ji (Senso Temple) but which is by no means completely hidden.


It was built around 1854 by a Mr. Tatsugoro (the leader of the tenth division of the local fire brigade) after his seriously ill and bedridden wife made a complete recovery after his prayers at the Fushimi Inari-sha Shrine. He built this shrine out of appreciation and although it's name is unclear, "Hikan" can be taken to have the meaning of "success in life".

After knowing this, I was surprised that there were not more success-seekers visiting this shrine. Granted, I was there during the three day Sanja Matsuri festival when other larger temples, food stalls and parades were probably getting more attention from the visitors.

Regardless of its size, the Hikan Inari Shrine was still staffed by a woman who was seated behind a desk making some cuttings.


The shrine was protected overhead with a wooden roof that was decorated underneath by these Japanese character stickers.


Since this was an Inari Shrine, the red-bibbed foxes were also in attendance.


These little fox statues were also available to purchase for placement at the shrine.


I'm now familiar with these wooden gates which I'd seen at the entrances to shrines, but I was intrigued by these tiny ones, stacked up against the railings alongside the shrine itself.


More photos of the Hikan Inari Shrine on Flickr

This entry posted in : Culture. History. Japan. Tourism.

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28/05/11  at  02:29 AM
What lovely pictures! I visiting Hikan Shrine this year, and purchased a charm there.
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29/05/11  at  10:24 AM
Thanks Warren!
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