AsakusaUeno Park

Looking for Heart shape in Shrines and Temples is fun! Tour Report of Asakusa and Ueno Park on January 14, 2024


Thank you for choosing our tour at Asakusa and Ueno Park on January 14. We welcomed 13 people from U.S.A., Australia, Canada, Taiwan, Philippines, Malasia and Japan.

I hope all of you enjoyed and shared interesting conversations with us during the tour. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had.


By the way, when you visit shrines or temples, you may see the shape of heart on the metal fittings etc. of shrines or temples buildings. Heart shape is generally used as the symbol of heart, mind or spirit and so on. In addition, it is also known that the shape of the heart is used as a pattern called “INOME” since ancient times in Japan. For example, it is known that a heart shape was used for the sword guard in the 6th century. The heart shape has been used long before Japan came into contact with Western culture. “INOME” means boar’s eye. The eyes of the wild boar look like the shape of a heart. Literally “INOME” is named after the shape of boar’s eye.  For example, as the picture shown below, you can see heart shape on the metal parts of the roofs or gates of temples or shrines buildings. This decoration with the heart shape is called “INOME”.  “INOME” is said to have been used as a talisman against evil spirit and to protect the buildings from fire since ancient times. 

It is interesting that the custom of using a heart shape has been continued for a long time since ancient times in Japan. Please enjoy looking for heart shape in the architecture of shrines and temples.  

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(posted by Kuma)