“Toyokawa Inari Betsuin Temple” is a temple in Tokyo’s Akasaka district. It is known for its unique atmosphere, with numerous fox statues everywhere on the grounds, and the large number of entertainers visiting. So why do about 5 million people visit Toyokawa Inari Betsuin every year? Let’s find out!
Why are there so many foxes?
Toyokawa Inari Betsuin Temple was established in 1828 as a branch temple of Toyokawa Inari Myogonji Temple in Aichi Prefecture. In Japan, many people associate the word “inari” (representing a deity with a fox) with a shrine, but this is a temple.
The name of the guardian deity enshrined at this temple is “Toyokawa Dakini-Shinten”, a goddess riding on a white fox while carrying rice-ears. When you visit the temple take a look around. You will see stone statues of foxes everywhere!
Why is this temple so popular among entertainers?
Many people pray for a successful business at this temple. Since the nearby Akasaka district has been an entertainment area for a long time, many people related to the entertainment business would visit the temple. Including the members of the most famous entertainment agency in Japan, called Johnny & Associates. Therefore, the temple became a sacred place for fans, too.
Take a look at the red lanterns hanging at the building where you can get amulets and fortune papers (omikuji). you will see the names of the stars written on them. This means that they have presented the lantern to the temple with gratitude for achieving their dreams, etc.
In recent years, visiting “power spots” has become a popular activity in Japan. A “power spot” is the Japanese “English term” for a spiritual place or a place that has a positive effect on people visiting.
Toyokawa Inari Betsuin Temple has not one, but several power spots. Such as for artistic luck, ending bad relations, matchmaking, luck for relationships, money luck, work luck, childbirth, and parenting. There are also statues of the “Seven Lucky Gods”.
(Click here for more information about the Seven Lucky Gods)
Toyokawa Inari Betsuin Temple has been loved by people for a long time. And it is also a very unique temple. The power spots, the Seven Lucky Gods, and the fox statue ー everything is co-existing in harmony in the same place. It’s a temple where you can feel the diversity of religious beliefs in Japan.
Toyokawa Inari Betsuin Temple
1-4-7 Moto-Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/tFoUcfdemKgbz8rbA
Nearest station: Akasaka Mitsuke Station, Nagatacho Station, Aoyama-itchome Station, etc.
Please note that the facilities introduced in this article may not be open due to measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Please do not go out during the state of emergency. However, we hope this article can function as an inspiration for your future travel plans.