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Posts tagged oji

No peeping photos

peeping photos sign shakujii river

No peeping photos (盗撮) sign @ Shakujii River near Oji Station in Tokyo

After taking photos of kids playing in the river I saw this sign telling me not to take photos of kids in the river. I had left my hat, sunglasses, and mask at home, though, so maybe I was OK.

The Japanese like rules. The rules are posted all over everything, even though it’s tough to imagine them doing the things the signs say not to do. In addition, the signs are frequently an eyesore; they tell people to keep things pretty when the scenery would in fact look prettier without the sign.

Train Connections

shinkansen train aerial view

From the 17th floor of the Kitatopia building in Oji I noticed this rather strange sight. If you look closely you’ll see that there are two, totally different trains connected. I think the one in the rear is a shinkansen. They weren’t parked either. They were moving right on through. I don’t think I ever saw this in Japan before.

The park in the upper right portion of this photo is called Asukayama Park, a great place to visit if you are in Tokyo with kids.

Six jizo

six jizo realms of existence oji tokyo ooji

Frequently when you encounter jizo (地蔵) you see them in groups of six, representing Buddhism’s six realms of existence. Today’s photo was taken in Tokyo’s Oji (王子). I’m not sure the exact location, but this photo has GPS information attached to it so it shouldn’t be difficult to find out.

Oji Inari Jinja (王子稲荷神社)



If you are in Tokyo for New Year’s Eve you may find the festivities to be rather tame as most people stay home and watch TV. However, there are several places where there is some action and this shrine is one of them. Oji Inari Jinja is the head Inari shrine of the eight provinces of the Kanto region (greater Tokyo area). On New Year’s Eve, foxes, who are considered to be the guardians and messengers of the god Inari, gather here from all over the Kanto region. There is an annual Oji Fox Parade on New Year’s Eve to honor the foxes that gather here on this night. Everyone dresses up, and it is said to be quite the affair. I haven’t actually been there on New Year’s Eve myself.

I have been in the Tokyo area on two New Year’s Eves. For the first (in 1988) I went to Kawasaki Daishi (川崎大師). For the second (in 2009) we celebrated the new year at Zojoji (増上寺). I would recommend either of those places as well.

Oji Inari Jinja

At first glance, I wasn’t sure when I took this photo. The Japanese maples have green leaves, yet there are leaves on the ground and on the shrine roof. In well-populated parts of Japan the leaves are swept up so quickly that autumn doesn’t seem like autumn for long once the leaves fall. However, this isn’t autumn at all or the maple leaves wouldn’t be green. Someone just got a little “lazy” with the leaf sweep the prior fall. I took this photo of the most rear structure in the 王子稲荷神社 complex in early May of last year. The angle is a bit unusual. Normally you don’t find yourself above a shrine and above the torii.

Don’t confuse Oji Inari Jinja with Oji Jinja. This one is better even though Oji Jinja is one of the “Tokyo Jissha” (東京十社 or ten shrines of Tokyo).

Northern Tokyo view from Kita-Topia (北とぴあ)

One of the walks in the Water Walks in the Suburbs of Tokyo book was called Oji (王子). This is a great little part of Tokyo. I could have taken the Toden Arakawa Line, which ran right next to my apartment, but chose to ride my bike to Oji along the street car line instead.

Near the end of the walk I went up the only tall building in the area, Kitatopia. Today’s photo is of the view looking north from the observation deck on the 17th floor. The school you see in the picture is fairly typical of Japan, four stories with a courtyard for physical activities in the center. This is actually two schools, Ojisakura Elementary School and Ojisakura Middle School. (王子桜小学校と王子桜中学校)