The weather is almost sort-of nice again! And you know what nice weather means over here at the #SHRINEHOPPERS headquarters: biking adventures!
So I hopped on my trusty bike with the intent of biking from Shinkoiwa Station to Kinshicho Station and seeing what shrines I could find along the way.
The wind had other ideas.
First, I was nearly blown right off of the Hirai Ohashi Bridge into the Edo River. The wind was so strong I had to steer hard right to avoid crashing into the low fence on my left. Then my glasses nearly blew off of my face(!), and that was when I realized that I should go home and fetch my laundry inside.
I did at least get to see one shrine on my way:
I found this little Inari Shrine near an apartment complex right next to the train tracks. When I parked my bike to take a picture, the security guard came out and yelled at me, but I explained that all I wanted was to look at the shrine and I’d go away, and he said that was fine.
Hooray! for limited Japanese skills. I love that I can trail off awkwardly when I don’t know a word without looking like a complete idiot, because the listener is supposed to infer my meaning. Or something like that.
So, I parked my bike at Hirai Station and took the train back home, brought my laundry in so it wouldn’t be blown away in the hurricane winds we’re having today, and turned around and went back to Hirai. (Thankfully, this was all covered by my monthly train pass, so I didn’t have to pay for one stop back and forth.)
After the near death experience on the bridge, I thought better of biking any further and took the train the rest of the way to Kinshicho Station. I wanted to get some provisions (cheesy popcorn yum) for my movie night with my roommate and check out a little shrine I often see on my way in to work but never had the chance to really check out.
This little tiny shrine lives on the second floor of a shopping complex parking garage. I wish I could have gone closer, but they had it coned off and while I might be able to explain why I’m illegally parking my bike, I’d have a harder time justifying breaking and entering.
What’s really interesting about this shrine is the location. I’m serious: it’s on top of a parking garage. Go up to the LIVIN bike parking second floor, and there it is, just doing it’s shrine thing. I bet it’s one of those little ones I’ve heard about that were moved upwards during the boom. The rule, so I hear, was that you can’t demolish a shrine and you can’t move the footprint from side to side, but you could move them upwards, as long as they were on the highest floor.
I’ve heard of those shrines before, but this is the first one I’ve seen.
Even though my plans were, ahem, blown up today, I’d still consider it a successful, if short, #shrinehoppers excursion.