Hie-jinja Shrine is located on a hilltop between the business district of Asakasa and the government buildings of Nagatacho. It is one of Tokyo's major shrines, particularly notable for the beautiful and stately Sanno Matsuri and its connection to the Tokugawa clan.
The west entrance takes you through a vivid tunnel of red torii, one of the most photographed scenes in Japan.
You can reach the shrine easily by train or taxi.
The shrine is centrally located and is accessible from a number of stations. It's a three-minute walk from Tameiki-Sanno Station on the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line and Ginza Line.
Most accounts say that the warlord Ota Dokan founded Hie-jinja Shrine in 1478, but its origins date back to the Kamakura period (1185–1333). When shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa began ruling Japan from Edo Castle, he became a patron of Hie-jinja Shrine. In 1607, the shrine was moved outside of the castle, allowing the citizens of Edo to visit and worship there.
In 1868 during the Meiji Restoration and thereafter, Hie-Jinja Shrine served as a guardian shrine of the Imperial Palace.
The shrine houses some of Japan's most treasured relics, including the “Itomaki-no-Tachi” (long sword with detailed lacing on the handle) crafted by Ichimonji Norimune and another sword made by Bishu Osafune Nagamitsu that once belonged to Emperor Meiji.
During mid-June, Hie-jinja Shrine presents the Sanno Matsuri, one of Tokyo's three most popular and important festivals and one of the few whose procession was allowed onto the grounds of the Imperial Palace.