Home » Shinagawa Shrine – a photographer’s guide

Shinagawa Shrine – a photographer’s guide

Shinagawa Shrine is near Shinagawa Station.  You’d think both would be in Shinagawa Ward.  Well, the station is in Minato Ward.  Did you know that?  It is a funny fact.  Let’s get back on track and talk about the shrine.

Shinagawa Shrine

Shinagawa Shrine is a good place for photographers.  I wouldn’t place it up there with Meiji Jingu or Nezu, but it is attractive and impressive.  A few minor things might bother people, but it is a good place.  Well, it is a good place once you conquer that massive staircase at the entrance!  

Shinto guardian deity

Today the shrine is one of the hundred scenic spots in Shinagawa Ward.  It is also on the pilgrimage trail for the Tokai seven deities of good luck.  If you have a camera, you might want to drop in and see it.

A brief history of Shinagawa Shrine

  • Minamoto no Yoritomo built it in 1187.  In it, he enshrined the deity Sunosaki Myojin.  Sunosaki Myojin’s primary duty was to look after maritime traffic.
  • In 1600, Ieyasu Tokugawa worshiped there on his way to the Battle of Sekigahara.  When he returned from a victorious campaign, he presented the shrine with a mask.  It was said to have the power to cure health problems.
  • Emperor Meiji appointed ten shrines, including Shinagawa, to symbolize the new era.  It was designated as “Tokyo Jissha” (10 shrines to protect the city).
  • In 1964, the shrine was rebuilt.
  • A lot of things have happened at this shrine over the years.  It is one of the most historical in Tokyo.  For history buffs, Shinagawa Jinja needs to be on their bucket list.
Shinagawa shrine torii gates

Photography at Shinagawa Shrine

  • Architecture is of the type you’d expect at a Japanese shrine.
  • Fox and komainu (guardian dog) statues
  • Lots of religious icons
  • Torii gates
  • There is a replica of Mount Fuji, a small one, of course.  The rocks that cover it come from the sacred mountain.
  • Shrine events (I haven’t attended any yet)
Shinagawa Shrine minor shrine with Shishi guardians

Photography problems

  • The courtyard is dirt, which isn’t attractive.
  • It isn’t as large as Meiji or Hie.
  • The staircase to the top of the shrine is long and steep.  Not a photography problem, I know!

Where is Shinagawa Shrine?

The shrine is near Shinbanba Station, on the Keikyu Main Line.  Leave via the north exit, and Shinagawa Shrine will be over the road.  It’s only a short walk (until you get to the stairs).

Here is a Google map:

Opening hours

The shrine is open from 9:30 am to 4 pm.  

Admission costs


Shinagawa Shrine staircase

Other similar photo spots in Tokyo

Wrapping up

It was my first time visiting Shinagawa Shrine, so I wasn’t fully prepared.  Still, I was impressed with what I saw.  One day I will return to discover more.  When I do, I’ll post that information and pictures here.  Don’t worry; you’ll be the first to know!

Shinagawa Shrine minor hall and torii gate

I’m not sure when that will happen, though.  It is high on my list of priorities as the sky in these pictures looks very grey and drab.  A little blue would make things much better, don’t you agree?

wooden shishi lion

If you know anything about this place, please share it!  And for those of you with questions or comments, please leave those below.

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