Thursday, August 5, 2010
The Shibuya area is one of the busiest areas in Tokyo, what to do if you are in the area and looking for a quiet moment? Just head up for the Kono hachimangu and adjacent shrine and temple.
Kono Hachimangu, Toufuku temple and the toyosakai inari shrine, five minutes from Shibuya station, are a popular praying area for people in the neighborhood.
Shibuya castle was built in 1092 (Kanji era) in the Shibuya area. In 1612, the current Konno Hachimangu shrine structure was built in the castle premises; The Shrine it is now the oldest wood building in Shibuya ward.
The main hall of the shrine is a beautifully decorated with a tiger and a baku (mythological tapir like animal) carvings on the side of the offertory.
The Kaguraden or stage for classical ceremonial music and dance is at the left of the main hall, note the people taking a break at the benches there.
The Shrine was featured as a Pit stop for Amazing race TV program.
Just a few meters from the Konno Hachimangu entrance, the Toufuku temple entrance can be easily missed, as is not clearly marked. The temple build in 1173, is the oldest temple in Shibuya.
The bell tower built in 1704 has been designated as an important cultural property by the Shibuya ward.
The temple is so beautiful for its simplicity, and is so quiet that you may forget that you are in Shibuya, please note the person taking a nap at the left side of the temple hall.
The Toyosakai inari Shrine is located across the street from Konno Hachimangu,
This shrine formerly located close to the Shibuya station was moved to this location in 1961.
As all the inari shrines there is a set of red torii gates guiding from the entrance toward the shrine.
The Shrine is guarded by foxes statues, also commonly found in the inari shrines.
The shrines and temples are not easy to find despite being a short walk from the station. It is, perhaps, one of locals best keep secret.