Kichijoji is a town that never stops evolving. Everything is nearby, from its busy shopping streets to quiet residential neighborhoods and famous Inokashira Park. The proximity of nature and prime shopping and residential neighborhoods draws many people to Kichijoji in search of a perfect place to live.
Anyoji-Temple Hotei God
Gankouzan Kisshouin Anyoji-Temple is a tantric temple of the Buzan school of Shingon Buddhism. Its principal image is Cetaka. The general head temple is Hasedera-Temple located in Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture. By word-of-mouth accounts, the temple was founded in 1624 by Fuse Danjo, a descendant of Fuse Mikawa-no-Kami Danjo-Zaemon Yasusada. Yasusada was one of the 48 Hojoh generals and the castle governor of the former Odawara Castle. He took the name Shin-in-Houin after performing his tonsure (shaving of the scalp as a gesture of religious humility).
A land survey by lanterns was performed here at Musashi-no-Kuni Mureno. The highest point was determined as the center after slight high and low points were measured. A hermitage is thought to have once been built there. The principal image of Cetaka, the deity enshrined here, can still be viewed. Anyoji-Temple is a hallow ground of The First Pilgrimage Site of the Shikoku 88 Places in Tama. Many pilgrims visit the temple between spring and summer every year.
Kohshin Tower (1665) (Municipal tangible folk cultural asset) and six Jizos are placed before the gate. The temple bell (Municipal tangible folk cultural asset) is thought to have been cast from an Edo Era cannon with engraved inscriptions on the surface and carvings of two dragon heads. People throng in to ring the bell on new year’s eve in commemoration of the passing year.
Daihouzenji (Daihouji-Temple) Fukurokujyu God
Daihouji-Temple was founded by Jinso Gitei Zenji in the Azabu district of the Edo Castle Town in 1633, after 30 years of rule under the Edo feudal government. The temple opened with an honorific mountain name, Kinkokusan.
Daihouji opened Jinso Gitei Zenji, the high priest, bequeathed preach of Zuigan Gensho priest, Jr., of Enjoji, in Matsue Castle townin current Shimane prefecture.
Later, as the town of Edo modernized, a growing number of clan persons took refuge in Buddha, including prominent feudal lords such as Abe, Matsudaira, Hosokawa, Hotta, Naitoh, Aoyama, Ii, Kamei, Nakagawa, Sakai, Moori, Arima, and Yonezu. Many descendants of famous military commanders and subordinate warriors with ancestral ties to Sir Fujiwara, Genji, Heike, etc. also made Daihouji their family temple.
The curtains closed on 300 years of urban history when the temple moved to its current location in October of 1932. Statues of the Kisshou Goddess of Mercy and Otoku-Jizo are set up in the quiet shrine grounds.
Inokashira Benzaiten (Taiseiji-Temple) Benzaiten Goddess
Inokashira Benzaiten was said to have been established during the Tenkei Era (938-946) by Minamoto-no-Tsunemoto, the patriarch of Kanto Genji who enshrined the Benzaiten Goddess Statue crafted by Dengyo Daishi in Enryaku-8 (789). Later, Minamoto-no-Yoritomo was said to have built the shrine pavilions to pray for the peace and quiet of the eastern part of country in Kennkyuu 8 (1197). As the story goes, victory prayers were performed when Nitta Yoshisada fought against Houjou, Kamakura in Shoukei 2 (1333).
In the Edo Era, Tokugawa Ieyasu modernized the water supply when he entered Edo. Water was channeled into Inokashiraike-Pond, the selected water source, from Kandagawa-River.
They say that Ieyasu visited this area several times in Keichou 11 (1606) to make tea with the water from Inokashira Pond. His handheld tea mill is still kept in Bentendou-Hall.
This area was used as a hawk-hunting ground in the age of Iemitsu, the 3rd General. It took the name “Inokashira” when Iemitsu visited in Kanei 6 (1629) to carve the characters "Inokashira" onto a magnolia tree at the edge of lake with his short sword. The lake (Well: “I-”) was important because it supplied drinkable water to the people of Edo (Head: Kashira).
A yellow sign board "Harmonica Yokocho" is hoisted high above the corner of the north side of Heiwa-Doori street just in front of north exit of Kichijoji Railroad Station. The name was coined 20 years ago to describe the harmonica-like appearance of the narrowly gated two-story shops that stood in a row on the street. People call the block "Harmonica Yokocho" even today.
The old shops still crowd the block because zoning laws bar the construction of new buildings. Retailers such as fish shops bustle with customers in daytime and the restaurants come alive at night. This block retains the traditional tone of a local shopping street that has resisted urbanization.
A market that sprang up in front of the railroad station in 1945 was the root of Harmonica Yokocho. Some consider it to have been the first Black-Market after the war. There are now about 100 shops clustered together along the block.
Musashino Hachimangu Shrine Daikokuten God
The famous Hachimangu Shrine, place of worship for the guardian god of Musashino. As the story goes, Sakanoue-no-tamuramaro enshrined the divine spirit in Usahachiman Shrine in 789.
Kichijoji used to be located in Suidobashi in Koishikawa. It was moved to its current location in Komagome after a major fire broke out in Meireki (1657). People who lost their houses around the gate at the old location were ordered to move to the area. When they arrived and established Kichijoji Village, they embraced Musashino Hachimangu Shrine as the shrine to their guardian god.
Oujin Emperor, also noted as the God of Bows and Arrows, is enshrined here. The grounds stretch over an area of about 1,300 Tsubo (4,300m2) with stately zelkova and camphor trees. People have trouble believing they are still downtown when they enter this quiet, imperial sanctuary.
In addition to the Hachiman God, another seven shrines are arranged to the right of the front shrine: Mishima, Izumo, Oshima, Itsukushima, Inari, Suga, and Housou.
Address: 1-1-23, Higashicho, Kichijoji, Musashino City
PHONE: 0422-22-5327 FAX：0422-22-5326
Municipal Park striding Musashino City and Mitaka City;
Opened on May 1, 1917; The park fills up with cherry blossom viewers when the flowers blossom every spring. Inokashira blooms itself at this magnificent time of year.
The lake view from Nanai-bashi Bridge is not your average nature scene. Inokashira Lake, Tokyo’s highly reputed “fountain lake,” became the source of Japan’s first running water/ Kanda Clean Water. This manmade lake was built by the order of Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1590 to ensure drinking water. The water gate for water intake still remains at east end of the lake. A Well crib made of stone at the western edge is called "Ochanomizu" (“teawater”). Ieyasu is said to have ordered the water for tea at Edo Castle.
The area is said to have been named Inokashira in 1625 when the 3rd General Iemitsu carved the characters Inokashira into a magnolia tree at the edge of the lake in the area (Kanei 2) with his short sword on his way back home from a hawk-hunting expedition. Rich spring water from The Lake of 7 Wells spring dried up in the middle of the Showa Era. Since then the area has been watered from deeper wells nearby.
Benzaiten at the lake side is the only goddess enshrined at the temples and shrines of the Musashino Seven Lucky Gods Tour offered by the Musashino Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Benzaiten is said to have been established by Minamoto-no-Tsunemoto, the patriarch of Kanto Genji. The goddess crafted by Dengyo Daishi in 789 is enshrined there. The deity took the name Zeniarai Benzaiten for Victory Luck when the messenger Adachi Morinaga appeared in a dream with tidings of military victory, convincing Yoritomo to raise an army.
The grace of god is manifested as blessings of many forms, from prosperity to good fortune in marriage, easy delivery, the birth of good children according to the folk tale of the Inokashira White Snake, safety against natural hazards and other dangers on the roads, and so on.
The park, a wonderful place to appreciate the changes of the seasons, brings calm to the hearts of many visitors to Kichijoji. Street hawkers and performers come on weekends and holidays. Fun events are held all year round.
Information Center, Inokashira Park Zoo: TEL：0422‐47‐6900 FAX：0422‐47‐9371
Kichijoji has been a town of temples for many centuries. Anyoji-Temple, Kosenji-Temple, Renjoji-Temple, and Gessouji-Temple –generically called the Shikendera-Temples – are all located nearby the Musashino Hachimangu Shrine. The crossing between Kichijoji-Doori and Joshidai-Doori was formerly called Shikendera. Incidentally, no shrines actually called Kichijoji are to be found in Musashino City.
Anyoji-Temple opened in 1624. Shingon sect temple. The shrine bell cast in the Edo Era was fashioned with two dragon heads that originally formed part of a cannon. The many inscriptions engraved into the surface of the bell shed light on the technology of the original casting engineers from the Musashino area. Kohshin Tower and six Jizos are placed before the gate.
Address: 1-1-2, Higashicho, Kichijoji, Musashino City
Kosenji-Temple, Jodo-shu sect. Infectious diseases were rampant in this area in the Kyoho Age (1716-1735). As the story goes, a chief priest on a pilgrimage set up Jizo in a Tansu modified miniature shrine to hold a memorial service and pray for the longevity of children. The statue of Tansu-Zizo is enshrined at the temple.
Address: 1-10-21, Honcho, Kichijoji, Musashino-City
Renjoji-Temple, Nichiren-shu sect. The statue of Saint Nichiren enshrined in front of the main hall of the temple is a wooden seated statue holding a wooden mace in its right hand and a scroll of text from the sutras in its left hand. This figure, the Devil Remover, Nichiren, is famous as the guardian god of men and women at critical times of life.
Address: 1-10-12, Honcho, Kichijoji, Musashino-City
Gessouji Temple opened in Manji-2 (1659); Soto Zen sect temple: Established at the same time as Kichijoji Village.
The Byakue-Kannon Seated Statue enshrined in the Kannon Hall on the left side of the main hall has the oldest inscriptions (1689) in Musashino City. The letters are inscribed in dry lacquer, a rarity among examples from modern art.
Address: 1-11-26, Honcho, Kichijoji, Musashino-City