Atago ShrineFree: All time

The Atago Shrine was built in 1603 under the order of the Tokugawa family. The shrine is located on Atago Hill, which is 26 meters above sea level. The most famous part of the shrine is undoubtedly its steep stairs leading to the shrine. The hill itself is named “Otoko Zaka” literally “Man Hill”, and the steps “Shussei no Ishiden” literally “Stone Steps to Success.” Legend has it that a young samurai rode his horse straight up the impossible incline to deliver plum blossoms to the shogun. The shogun was so impressed that the young man’s future was assured. Today, corporate climbers come to this shrine to also pray for their success in climbing corporate ladders. Many young college graduates visit Atago shrine prior to their job interviews as a rite of passage.

Address: 1-5-3 Shiba, Atago-machi, Minato, Tokyo
Opening hours: Daily sunrise – sunset
Direction: Subway Hibiya Line to Kamiyacho Station
Phone: +81 03-3431-0327

Photo credit: Yoshikazu Takada (Flickr CC), OiMax (Flickr CC), Jon (Flickr CC), Chris 73