Tokyo Stroll Supplement: Ōta-ku
This page is for locations in the Ōta-ku area of Tokyo. This neighborhood is not part of my book Tokyo Stroll.
For information on Tokyo Stroll and this web supplement see Tokyo Stroll Supplement home page
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Anamori Inari Jinja (穴守稲荷神社)
Founded by Suzuki Yagoēmon in the early 19th century to help protect the local villagers against floods caused by levee breaches. The original location was within what is now Haneda Airport, after WWII the shrine was relocated when the airport was expanded. The shrine became popular due to a story of a man being healed there, so popular that train line to Shinagawa was originally established to carry people going to the shrine. The Anamori Inari is considered a good one for aviation and travel safety.
EVENTS: In late August there is a lantern festival with around 300 illustrated lanterns displayed.
A Buddhist temple founded near the end of the 13th century Honmonji is an administrative center of the Nichiren school. Originally Honmonji was a private temple, Hokkedō, on the estate of Ikegami Munenaka, a vassal of the Kamakura shōgunate. Nichiren himself died at the estate while on a trip to what is now Ibaraki Prefecture. Nichiren was cremated here and interred at the temple Kuonji on Mount Minobe in Yamanashi prefecture. Ikegami donated part of his estate after Nichiren's death, this included the Hokkedō, to Nichiren’s disciples. In time the complex grew and the name was changed to Ikegami Honmonji. The amount of land in Ikegami's donation was 69,384 tsubo, which is the number of Chinese characters in the Lotus Sūtra.
The temple buildings were built during the Edo Period. The oldest five-story pagoda in the Kantō region is on the grounds and listed as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. It was completed in 1608 as a donation of Tokugawa Hidetada, the second Tokugawa shōgun. The Large stone stairway to the grounds has 96 steps and was a donation of Katō Kiyomasa the daimyō of Higo. The octagonal kyōzō, sūtra repository, is from 1784. On the west side of the complex is a red pagoda, the Tahōtō, built on the site of Nichiren’s cremation.
During the firebombing of Tokyo on April 15, 1945 much of the complex was destroyed. The main gate, the two pagodas, kyōzō, were not harmed. Niōmon was restored in 1977 The main hall, the Shakaden was built in 1969 and the Reihōden was also constructed.
The temple graveyard has the graves of many notable persons such as Oman no Kata one of Tokugawa Ieyasu's concubines and the nurse of Tokugawa Hidetada. There are also many graves belonging to women of the Kishū branch of the Tokugawa. A famous 20th century grave is that of Rikidōzan the professional wrestler.
During the Boshin War the imperial army took over the temple complex for their headquarters in preparation to attack Edo. The shōgunate negotiator Katsu Kaishū came here to arrange the surrender of the city with Saigō Takamori head of the imperial troops. Their negotiation took place in the temple garden, the Shōtōen. The Shōtōen is at times opened up for public viewing.
Tamagawa Sengen Jinja (多摩川浅間神社)
Founded in the Bunji Era (1185-1190) of the Kamakura Period by Hōjō Masako as she had followed her husband Minamoto no Yoritomo to the area when he was on a campaign. She stopped here to treat a foot injury and one day climbed Kamenokoyama, the shrine is at the sourthern part of the mount, to view Mt Fuji and pray. Sengen shrines are devoted to the worship of that mountain. The kami enshrined here is Konohanasakuya-hime, the goddess of Mt Fuji. There is an observation deck with good views of the Tamagawa and Mt Fuji. In the Shin Godzilla (Shin-Gojira) movie the location of command post along the Tamagawa is at Tamagawa Sengen
Tamakawadai Park Tumulus Exhibition Room (多摩川台公園古墳展示室)
The park this building is in is built on a series of kofun, ancient burial mounds for high ranking people, that were constructed here between the 4th and 7th centuries. This small museum is about the kofun in the area. The exhibition room has a reproduction of whet the inside of a mound would be like plus various objects found in them.
Created October 16, 2022 | Content last updated October 16, 2022