Ichigaya Kamegaoka Hachimangu is a prominent shinto shrine located at the top of a small hill near Ichigaya Station.

The dangerously steep stairs leading to the shrine
The alarmingly steep stairs that can be avoided if you suffer from vertigo | Photo by Gregory Lane

The approach to the shrine is via some alarmingly steep stairs, although if you head to the left, there is a road that slopes up more gently to the back of the shrine.

A stone lantern in the foreground with steps and a Shinto prayer hall in the background
One of the lower level prayer halls | Photo by Gregory Lane

There are buildings, stone lanterns and smaller shrines on terraces below the main hall. At the top of the stairs, the pathway to the main prayer hall building is lined with mature trees, which provide a soothing green canopy in summer.

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Ichigaya Kamegaoka Hachimangu main prayer hall
Ichigaya Kamegaoka Hachimangu main prayer hall | Photo by Gregory Lane

A unique aspect of Ichigaya Kamegaoka Hachimangu is that worshippers can pray together with their pets—whether they be cats, dogs or guinea pigs. The shrine even has pet versions of rituals and ceremonies that are usually reserved for humans, such as shichigosan—the seven-five-three festival for children.