Zoshigaya / Kishimojin
Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is such a densely populated city. Streets, public transport and cafes are always crowded in the major parts of it.
But it doesn't necessarily mean that there's no calm and quiet neighborhood. Zoshigaya, a neighboring area of the hub station Ikebukuro, still holds an old, down-to-earth vibe.
Today let us introduce its regional anchor, Kishimojin Temple.
This long lived area's landmark was originally established in 1578 and its main building we see today, registered as Toshima Wards' oldest structure, was completed in 1664.
A blessing believed to be given to visitors is having healthy children and an easy delivery. In fact, its name includes two particular Chinese characters which stand for "child" and "mother" respectively.
What will catch your attention right after entering the premise is numerous torii gates beautifully lined up, surrounding a huge old tree.
Seeing this number of torii at once is certainly overwhelming and its color of vermilion, traditionally regarded as a sacred one, boosts the ambience of the spot.
The tree in center boasts of a height of 30 meters and is believed to be more than 600 yeas old.
As one local resident I talked to told me that the neighborhood itself has 700-year history, that age could be true.
A pair of half-naked muscular men who look so strong & furious are called Nio Guardians, generally thought to prevent evil spirits and enemies from entering.
They can be found at other sacred places across Japan.
What we tend to miss in visiting shrines / temples is architectural details, which often allow us to feel their history more effectively rather than some numbers shown on a brochure.
Just catch the messages from century old designs, aged wood pillars & beams! Even if you're not an hardcore archi fan, it's gonna be a great experience for you!
Thanks for reading.
Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line
Toei Subway Arakawa Line
Kishimojin Mae Sta.
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