Inokashira Park Benzaiten Shrine, Mitaka, Japan 

Legend says the goddess this shrine honors curses any couples that pass by. The serene shrine stands atop an island within a lake within a large park in the west of Tokyo. Because Benzaiten is a goddess of water, her shrine tends to be built on a waterfront. The statue of Benzaiten housed in the shrine depicts a beautiful goddess with eight arms. It’s a hibutsu (“hidden Buddha”) that’s shown to the public only once in 12 years, in the year of snake.

Epic Japan Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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