Tokyo is dotted with hundreds of temples and shrines. In many cases, these small islands of reverent reflection are some of the most beautiful spaces in the city. The following photos show only a tiny sampling of the many places of worship which can be found everywhere from major city-center parks to hidden back alleys.
A massive Torii marks the entrance to Meiji Jingu.
An orderly row of wooden ladles await visitors at a ritual hand washing basin near the entrance to Meiji Shrine.
Wooden tablets that people purchase and write prayer requests on hang in front of Meiji shrine.
Sake barrels wrapped in decorative covers made of straw line the pathway to Meiji Jingu in Yoyogi Park.
A crowded path through the vendor-laden streets of Nakamise-Dōri leads to one of Asakusa’s most revered temples, Sensō-ji.
Throngs of visitors pass beneath Hozomon Gate into the inner sanctum of Asakusa, Sensō-ji Temple.
Devoted Buddhists ward off evil spirits by wafting incense smoke over themselves at an alter in Sensō-ji.
Pilgrims cast coins into a large coffer before offering up prayers at Sensō-ji Temple.
Stone lanterns decorate the courtyard outside Tōshō-gū shrine in the center of Ueno Park.
A five-story pagoda serves as the main hall for Tōeizan Kan’ei-ji Endon-in Buddhist temple in Ueno Park.
Colorfully decorated tablets carry the prayers of pilgrims at Ueno Toshogu Shrine.
Check out these and more high-resolution shots from Tokyo in my set on Flickr.