Nearest station

Akasaka

Chiyoda Line

Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Akasaka 6-10-12

東京都港区赤坂6-10-12

赤坂氷川神社 

Akasaka Hikawa Jinja

Home page: (Japanese)

February 22, 2017

History

The shrine’s origin is unclear, but one old text suggests it may have been built in 951 close to its current location. The shrine’s powers were attested to in 1066 when prayers offered there helped bring an end to the great Kantō drought of that year. The next mention is not until 1729, when the eighth Tokugawa Shōgun, Yoshimune, instructed one of his Council of Elders (rōjū), Mizuno Tadayuki, to build a new shrine hall on what is still the location of the shrine. On April 26 of the following year the ceremonial transfer of the deity from the original shrine took place, and two days later the Shōgun visited to pay his respects. Along with this the shrine was granted a shogunate trading license worth some 200 koku per year.

This was renewed by each succeeding Shogun until the 14th of the line, Iemochi . Even after the passing of the Tokugawa the shrine continued to prosper. In the early years of the Meiji Restoration it was given the ranking of prefectural shrine (fusha) and in 1898 four nearby Inari shrines were merged and became the Shiwase Inari Jinja, one of the three in-ground shrines. In 1925 a further two Inari Jinja were merged and one more was added in 1934, now the Inari Jinja Sansha. 

 

 

Enshrined Deities:  

Main

Susano-o-no mikoto          素盞嗚尊          

Kushinada-hime-mikoto   奇稲田姫命      

 Ōnamuchi-mikoto             大己貴命        

 

In-ground Shrines: 

Shiawase-Inari Jinja            四合稲荷神社  

Kyū Jinja                               九神社             

Inari Jinja Sansha                稲荷神社三社  

 

Earliest mention of:   951    

Annual Festival:          September 15

Description

A ten minute walk from exit 6 of Akasaka station. One of  the Ten Tōkyō Shrines (Tōkyō Jissha) and prior to that one of the Junchoku Saisha. It was also one of the the Seven Edo Hikawa Jinja.

For me by far the most interesting aspect of this shrine is the large number of koma-inu and kitsune. There are at least seven pairs of koma-inu and three kitsune pairs. All of them are shown in the photos below. Dating as it does to 1675 the pair shown in the fourth rank from the top is the most interesting from a historical viewpoint. Note that the pair shown in the eight rank, although so weatherworn as to be almost indistinguishable, are conventional koma-inu but are located on the sandō to an Inari Jinja.

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon

© Rod Lucas 2016-2019

All text and photos by Lucas unless otherwise stated