Akagi Shrine is perhaps one of the most stylish shrines in Japan. The origin of the shrine goes back to 1300. The last time I saw this shrine was about 17 years ago. At that time, the shrine was just an ordinary old-looking shrine. But it was rebuilt in 2010 and it became completely new.
via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/TcriW1
There used to be a kindergarten in the shrine but it was closed because there are not so many children in the area any more. According to Wikipedia, that part was redeveloped with the help of a real-eastate company. The upper part of the building is residential area and there is a gallery and a cafe on the first floor in addition to the office of the shrine. The main hall of the shrine was also renovated and its cost was covered by the land leasehold of the building.
When I visited the shrine, there was a street market inside the property of the shrine. The main hall is a shrine but it looks very modern. And it is quite unique that a shrine has a cafe.
via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/Tfi4UR
The whole renovation project was supervised by the world-famous architect, Kengo Kuma who lives in Kagurazaka and is a shrine parishioner himself.
For More Information on Akagi Shrine
Address: 1-10 Akagi-Motomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours of Akagi Cafe: Mon-Fri 10am – 9:30pm, Sat 11:30am – 9:30pm, Sun 11:30am – 5pm (closed on Tuesdays and second Mondays)
If you go there in the evenings, the shrine is lit up and you can enjoy subtle and profound atmosphere.
I found an article on the website which describes the taste of Akagi Cafe.
For the bikers, you cannot ride bicyles inside the shrine.