Did you know that there is a mountain in central Tokyo? Atagoyama, or Mt. Atago, is a naturally formed mountain and on top of it is the famous Atago Jinja Shrine. The shrine is surrounded by beautiful nature and next to it, the NHK Broadcast Museum offers visitors the chance to learn about the history and future of TV. Enjoy the mountain where “OLD meets NEW”!
How to “get a promotion” at Atago Jinja Shrine
You can go to the top of the mountain by car or by using an elevator. But if you can, you should definitely climb up the famous ‘shusse no ishidan’ stairs!
In the Edo period, about 400 years ago, there was a shogun who passed by Atago Jinja Shrine. When he saw the blooming plum trees on Mt. Atago, he demanded a branch of a plum tree. But none of his vassals dared to climb the mountain. Then, one vassal rode his horse up the stone stairs and came back with a branch of blooming plum blossoms. The shogun was touched by the vassal’s marvelous equestrian skills and courage. The vassal got promoted.
For this reason, people say that if you climb up the steep, long stone-stairs leading to the shrine, you will be successful at your job.
Even now many office workers climb up the stone steps in hopes of success, accompanied by joggers who use the stairs for their training.
Atago Jinja Shrine is a very photogenic shrine. The majestic orange-red gate surrounded by trees is extraordinary. Also, don’t miss the cherry blossoms in spring and autumnal foliage. Both are indescribably beautiful.
There is also a cafe on the grounds. We recommend the “plum flavored shaved ice”, which is only available in summer. The plum syrup is made from plums in the precincts! And one thing is for sure: cold shaved ice is the best after climbing up the shusse no ishidan stairs and worshiping under the hot summer sun!
Atago Jinja Shrine (1-5 Atago, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/1y645fyTdYYhZQF3A
Nearest station: Kamiyacho Station, Toranomon Hills Station, Toranomon Station, Onarimon Station
Take a peek at a Japanese TV station
The public broadcasting station in Japan, which compares to TV stations such as the British public broadcasting BBC, is called NHK. Next to Atago Jinja Shrine is the NHK Broadcasting Museum where you can see the history and future of Japanese broadcasting. And what’s best: the admission is free!
In another corner of the museum, you will find an ultra-high-quality 8K experience theater. In Japan, NHK has already started broadcasting in 8K, but you usually can’t watch 8K TV in Japanese homes. If you are curious about the difference 8K actually makes, the NHK Broadcasting Museum offers you the chance to find out!
Another highlight of this museum is the Broadcast Experience Studio on the second floor. Enter a Japanese news studio and experience reading out the weather forecasts and news. This experience allows you to see with your own eyes how the newscaster manages to read the news manuscript while looking in the camera at the same time.
The NHK Museum of Broadcasting is a museum perfect for families and groups. Even though there aren’t many explanations in English, the exhibits are easy to understand and especially the experience zone is a lot of fun!
Currently, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, some exhibitions including the “Broadcast Experience Studio” might be closed. Please check the latest information on the NHK Museum website before visiting.