This spring, the ever-impish kami-sama apparently thought I was in need of some sort of life lesson. Because every time I set out with a well-planned, perfectly-timed plan, it was like this: “You know that amazing thing you traveled three hours on four trains to see? Well, forget it. You’re not going to see it. Instead you’re going to see this.”
Like, I went to Kamakura to take pictures of the famously famous promenade of cherry trees leading up to the Tsurugaoka Shrine, only to find that 1) the magnificent ones in all the photos had been recently replaced by skinny saplings and 2) they weren’t even close to blooming yet (even though the ones in Tokyo were already dialled up to 100% fluffypink WHY.)
Disgruntled and not wanting to trudge around to spots I’d been to countless times before, I set off to walk around a neighborhood that I’d never explored because it doesn’t boast a single famous shrine or temple.
And…I stumbled across Kamakura-gu – the shrine where if you break a dish, ye olde resident gods will boot pesky, negative people from your life for good.
Okay, how great is that?
Allow me to demonstrate:
Okay, I get it. Kami-sama, YOU WIN.
Tucked into a quiet residential neighborhood, Kamakura-gu is about a ten minute walk from the entrance to Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu shrine. If you’d like to go the next time you’re in town, here’s a map.
And just for fun, here are the eleven strangest shrines in Tokyo, with all the inside scoop on the resident gods’ superpowers
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon!
“Without question, the best book I have read all year.” —Susan Spann, author of the Hiro Hattori mystery series
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!