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Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of Japan's three most popular shrines during New Year's (Jan. 1 to 3) seeing over 2 million worshippers. The main shrines are National Treasures since they are built in the unique Sumiyoshi-zukuri style. Nicknamed "Sumiyossan" by locals, Sumiyoshi Taisha is the headquarters shrine of all Sumiyoshi shrines in Japan, about 600 of them. Most are in central and western Japan. The shrine is a short walk from Sumiyoshi Taisha Station on the Nankai Line and Hankai Line tram station. These photos were taken on New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2019, Year of the Boar.
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From the train station platform before noon, we could see the crowd heading to the shrine. This crowd became less in the afternoon.
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Going through the Shop Nankai shopping arcade connected to the train station's exit.
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One bottleneck was here, the tram line crossing. The crowd had to stop here whenever a tram passed through. The shrine is straight ahead.
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It looks very crowded at Sumiyoshi Taisha, but it progressed quickly. Kept on walking most of the time.
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Pass through the first torii, then the taikobashi bridge.
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Going up the shrine's taikobashi arch bridge called Sorihashi (反橋).
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Going up the shrine's arch bridge called Sorihashi (反橋).
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It has graduated steps.
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On Sorihashi Bridge (反橋).
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Sorihashi Bridge (反橋) is a symbol of the shrine and one of the larger taikobashi.
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Enter the shrine through the torii and gate ahead.
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Enter the shrine through the torii and gate ahead.
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Sumiyoshi Taisha's main shrine consists of four shrines named Hongu No. 1, 2, 3, and 4 (本宮). Each Hongu is dedicated to a different deity and all four Hongu shrines are National Treasures. First you see Hongu No. 3 and 4 here.
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Hongu No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 shrines worship a trio of gods called Sumiyoshi Okami (住吉大神). They are gods of the sea, waka poetry, agriculture and industries, traditional archery, and even sumo wrestling.
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Crowd going to Hongu No. 1.
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Crowd going to Hongu No. 1. You supposed to pray at Hongu No. 1 first, then you can pray at the other Hongu and secondary shrines.
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Sumiyoshi Taisha is the headquarters shrine of all Sumiyoshi shrines in Japan, about 600 of them. Most are in central and western Japan.
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Go left through that gate to exit and to see the "cat shrine."
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Sumiyoshi Taisha's Hongu No. 1 shrine, a National Treasure. Osaka city. Worships Sokotsutsu no Onomikoto (底筒男命).
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In front of Hongu No. 1 shrine, shielded with plastic so the coins don't hit the altar or people inside.
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Hongu No. 1 shrine offertory pit.
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Hongu No. 1 shrine offertory pit.
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People going to Hongu No. 1 shrine (left). In the distance is the back of Hongu No. 2 shrine.
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People going to Hongu No. 1 shrine. Security staff direct and watch the crowd.
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Omikuji paper fortunes on New Year's Day.
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Sumiyoshi Taisha Hongu No. 2 shrine, National Treasure. Worships Nakatsutsu no Onomikoto (中筒男命). (第二本宮)
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Hongu No. 2 shrine. (第二本宮)
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Hongu No. 2 shrine with netting to protect the altar from flyimg coins. (第二本宮)
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Hongu No. 2 shrine offertory pit. (第二本宮)
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Hongu No. 2 shrine offertory pit. A happy time for Shinto shrines. (第二本宮)
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Back of No. 2 Hongu shrine. Striking contrast with the dark brown, front part of the shrine. (第二本宮)
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Hongu No. 2 shrine. The Sumiyoshi-zukuri architecture has decorative ridgepoles.
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Hongu No. 2 shrine fence.
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Hongu No. 4 shrine and Hongu No. 2 shrine.
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Hongu No. 3 shrine. (第三本宮)
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Sumiyoshi Taisha Hongu No. 3 shrine, National Treasure. Worships Uwatsutsu no Onomikoto (表筒男命). (第三本宮)
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Sumiyoshi Taisha Hongu No. 3 and No. 4 shrines. Both are National Treasures. Hongu No. 4 worships Jingu Kogo (Empress Jingu 神功皇后).(第三本宮・第四本宮)
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Side view of Hongu No. 3.
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Rear view of Hongu No. 3 and No. 4 shrines. Sumiyoshi-zukuri architecture
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Rear view of Hongu No. 3 shrine.
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Hongu No. 3 shrine in front of the altar protected by netting.
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Hongu No. 3 shrine offertory pit.
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Hongu No. 4 shrine.
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Sumiyoshi Taisha's ema prayer tablet for 2019, Year of the Boar. ¥1000 絵馬
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Regular ema prayer tablet with Sorihashi Bridge. ¥800 絵馬
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Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine, a secondary shrine of Sumiyoshi Taisha. The torii is unusual with the middle beam not sticking out the sides. 若宮八幡宮
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Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine, a secondary shrine of Sumiyoshi Taisha. Worships Hachiman (Emperor Ojin), the guardian deity of the samurai. 若宮八幡宮Hachiman (Emperor Ojin) was the son of Empress Jingu.
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Rear of Wakamiya Hachimangu.
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New Year's souvenir arrows.
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Small shrine for a great tree.
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Banners for the Nankun-sha cat shrine (楠珺社). It's behind Hongu No. 1.
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Nankun-sha cat shrine (楠珺社).
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Nankun-sha cat shrine (楠珺社).
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Inside Nankun-sha cat shrine (楠珺社).
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Nankun-sha cat shrine altar (楠珺社). It promotes "Hattatsu" worship. At Sumiyoshi Taisha, Osaka. 初辰まいりYou supposed to come here and worship monthly and collect a total of 48 cat figurines over a period of 24 years. Then you'll get the jackpot of family safety and business prosperity. It's based on a play of words with "48" (shijuhachi) that can be pronounced similarly to "shiju-hattatsu (始終発達) which means "constant advancement or development."
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They have tiny, medium, and large cat statues that you can collect.
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Tiny beckoning cat figurines at Nankun-sha cat shrine at Sumiyoshi Taisha.
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Larger beckoning cat figurines at Nankun-sha cat shrine at Sumiyoshi Taisha.
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About Hattatsu worship. 住吉大社 初辰まいり
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About Hattatsu worship. 住吉大社 初辰まいり
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Small cat figurines for sale.
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Cat rice paddles.
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Decorative paddles with a cat.
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Grand tree at Sumiyoshi Taisha, Osaka.
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Grand tree at Sumiyoshi Taisha, Osaka.
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Free serving of hot ginger tea. That was good. Clears your nasal passages.
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Ama-zake was good too.
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Food stalls on the way out.
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Sumiyoshi Park is across the train tracks from Sumiyoshi Taisha. Big park. 住吉公園
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Hankai Line tram at Sumiyoshi Torii-mae stop in front of Sumiyoshi Taisha. 阪堺線 住吉鳥居前停留場
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Hankai Line tram at Sumiyoshi Torii-mae stop in front of Sumiyoshi Taisha. 阪堺線 住吉鳥居前停留場
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The old and now -closed Sumiyoshi Koen Station for the tram.
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Manhole in Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka.
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Sumiyoshi Taisha Station's Shop Nankai shopping arcade.
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Sumiyoshi Taisha Station on the Nankai Line.
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Sumiyoshi Taisha Station on the Nankai Line.
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