Rainy Days and Shrine Visits

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Not all learning is done within a classroom.

That’s the philosophy that many students have at Temple University Japan. When the city is your classroom, there is no limit to what you can learn. Keeping that in mind, a few of the study abroad students and one bridge program student braved the rains to learn about the religious culture (namely, visiting a few shrines).

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Takeshita-dori in Harajuku was even more crowded than usual with umbrellas

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Azumi performs harae, ritual water cleansing, before entering the shrine gate

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Sahara follows suit

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Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine), a very popular shrine for visitors, weddings, and the devout to come and pray.

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Ruby and Azumi take a picture together in front of the shrine

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This is ema, which can be purchased at the shrine. You buy the wooden plaque and write your hopes and dreams on it. I hope Richard’s wish comes true!

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Nearby is Togo Shrine, which is a much smaller shrine dedicated to Marshal-Admiral Togo Heihachiro. His flag is presented all over the shrine grounds.

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“Does it look okay?” Azumi, Marie, and Sahara check the pictures they took at the shrine

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Jumped on a train to Atago to visit Atago Shrine and its famous, steep rock steps (very dangerous on a rainy day, so be careful!)

Since Atago Shrine is on a hill high above the city, it was the designated “fire-watching” spot when large fires were common. Thus, the shrine is dedicated to the shinto fire god, Ho-musubi.

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Atago Shrine’s expansive koi pond

With mid-terms coming up in the next weeks, all of the students at TUJ are feeling the pressure, so this little getaway was a great stress-reliever. Good luck with exams, friends!

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