Hie Jinja from Chiyoda, Tokyo, is one of the most important (and most visited) shrines in Tokyo, mainly because of the amazing torii path. A less known fact about Hie Jinja is that the priest from this shrine is the only Shinto priest in Japan who is allowed to go inside the Imperial Palace, where he performs a prayer for peace, happiness and prosperity for the Imperial Family. The event takes place only once a year, during the Sanno Festival (around July 15).
The original buildings of the shrine were destroyed in 1945 and most of them, including the Roumon Gate, were rebuilt in 1958. Roumon Gate has been declared National Treasure and is one of the most beautiful buildings of this type in Tokyo. During the last years it was thoroughly restored and now you can admire it in its full splendor. Inside the glass casings on both sides of the entrance there are two Zuijin (or Zuishin) guardians, protectors against the evil spirits, and to the right you can see the sake barrels donated to the shrine:
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: