There are plenty of temples and shrines in Japan — more than 1,000, actually — and each has a story as rich as the next. However, seeing a few in succession, especially in an afternoon wandering around Kyoto (京都市) or Nikkō (日光市), can numb the uniqueness of each individual one.

“Shrined Out”
Definition: The feeling after one sees a large number of temples and shrines, particularly in short succession. Often followed by the consumption of beer or nihonshu.
Usage: After seeing five Shinto shrines this afternoon, I’m definitely shrined out.

The cure for this condition is quite unpredictable, but effective. When coming upon the next shrine or temple (here’s the difference between the two), you enter a setting that’s truly unique or hard to describe. It re-centers you, and renews your interest in learning the history and folklore embedded within.

Here are a few of those re-centering moments for me (clicking on each photo brings up more information about the location):

Honen-in Temple


Endless Torii

Takino Shrine

Sketching the Hachiman Shrine

Daryl DuLong


5 Responses to Being ‘Shrined Out’

  1. Mom says:

    Sensory overload? Overwhelming beauty may kindle an aching pain. Your pictures are gorgeous, and reflect your appreciation. Go out and have some rice beer and stimulate different senses!

  2. Delia says:

    We were somewhat “shrined out” when we were visiting, but were reluctant to pass on any shrine opportunity as each was somewhat distinctive. We ultimately did pass up on a few when we were in Yanaka – we were walking along a street where almost every building was a shrine. There are limits!! The pictures are beautiful and reminders of our wonderful visit.

  3. Ann Kennedy says:

    Beautiful images! While those of you who have the opportunity to see these wonderful places each day may be shrined out, those of us who visit via blogs are always thrilled to see more. Listen to “Mom”. She sounds wise.

  4. kelly says:

    I know what you mean. I was with a tour group for 6 days and each day we visited at least 3 temples. As much as I enjoyed them, I was done after the second day.

    Sorry it took me so long to visit your blog. I was in the process of moving my site to self hosting so I didn’t notice that you were a subscriber until I had to add you in manually.

  5. Daryl says:

    Thank you, everyone, for the great comments.

    I agree, Ann, it’s another example of a “first world problem” to get tired of seeing these amazing relics filled with stories from the foundation years of Japan’s development! “Mom” is very wise, indeed.

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