Here’s Where You Can Find Those Famous Steps in the Animated Movie ‘Your Name’
Fans have been visiting since the release of the film.
No. 5, Suga-cho, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo
Open 24 hours with no holidays.
The Suga Shrine has been watching over the land of Yotsuya from the top of a hill since 1634. Although it was originally an Inari Shrine for good harvest, everything changed when the Kanda Myojin Shrine enshrined the guardian god of Nihombashi, who was also the god of storms Susanoo-no-Mikoto, to Suga Shrine in 1643. Since then, people have visited the shrine to conduct rituals that protect against evil spirits, various difficulties in life, and the plague.
During the 1945 Bombing of Tokyo, the main building was lost and only the main shrine was left. After the war, it was rebuilt with the worshippers’ support. The main shrine’s inner shrine color is gold, which is rare in Tokyo. There are also big cherry blossom trees, which visitors can enjoy from the end of March to early April. In November, a Tori no Ichi or an open-market fair is held in the grounds, which makes it crowded.
People started visiting this historic shrine with increasing frequency around June 2016. Their goal: to have their photo taken on the steps that are near the shrine. That’s because the famous animated movie Your Name depicted this real-life staircase in the movie.
Here’s a bit of trivia: Back in the day, the stairs were called Otoko Zaka or boys’ slope because of its steepness. The easier Onna Zaka or girls’ slope stands on the right side of the road leading to the Torii, representing the topographical history of Suga Shrine.
A little left from the shrine is the big Daikokuten or Okuninushi no Mikoto. According to the chief priest of the shrine, “The enshrinement of both a violent god and a kind god with a happy face creates a balance. Before the war, the Okuninushi no Mikoto was enshrined at the back of the shrine, but after the war it was moved to the front.”
The wooden Daikokuten
Decorating the shrine is the Shinjuku Ward-designated tangible cultural property Sanjuurokkasen, which was drawn in the year 1824. Sanjuurokkasen is a masterpiece that depicts the 36 Immortal Poets, such as Kakimoto no Hitomaro and Ki no Tsurayuki, both of whom were popular from the Kamakura period to the Edo Period. You can see them all here.
Of course, amulets dedicated to the shrine are also widely used. The enshrined Susanoo no Mikoto blesses winning amulets, and Okuninushi no Mikoto the marriage amulets. An amulet for Ichi Go Ichi E (meaning, “You only meet someone once,”) is depicted as a strawberry, because Ichigo means strawberry, and it is very cute.
These enmusubi (protection of marriage) charms distributed at Suga Shrine.
The Your Name characters are featured a lot in the ema (wooden plaques indicating a person’s prayer hung at the shrine), evidence of the numerous movie fans who visit the shrine.
Your Name’s Mitsuha drawn on the ema.
The Shrine is near JR Yotsuya Station and Shinanomachi. For those who are fans of the movie, and even for those who aren’t, why not try visiting at least once this season?
Provided by Japan Walker™ and Tokyo Walker™ (9 April 2018)