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A Guided Tour to a Secret Garden in Fuchu

更新日:2018年6月19日

image Fuchu City Tourist information Map
Fuchu City Tourist Information Map


On May 30th we gathered in front of the Fuchu City Tourist Information Map for another guided tour. We were advised about that day’s sightseeing course.


After passing under the first torii gate leading to Okunitama Shrine, we were immediately able to see the Miyanome Shrine on the left. It was the shrine where Minamoto no Yoritomo, the military commander who erected Japan’s first samurai government, prayed for the safe childbirth for his wife Masako Hojo. Even now, many pregnant women visit the shrine. There are not only “ema” (small wooden plaques on which Shinto worshippers write their prayers or wishes and then leave them hanging up at the shrine where the spirits or gods receive them), but also many “hishaku” (large spoon-like tools for scooping water) with small holes, used for prayers to have as easy a delivery as the water that leaks from the bottom. It is believed that even after your prayer has been safely fulfilled, you should continue to pay your respects with the hishaku.
Directions: 3-1 Miya-machi, Fuchu City, Tokyo 183-0023


Next, we went to see the remains of Musashi Kokufu, which was the former center of Musashi Province politics. We could get a taste of Fuchu’s history there. Some portion of the building was restored on the site to be shown to the public. Since there are only a few documents about the ancient provincial center, archaeological technique is indispensable for the investigation. Fuchu City has continuously excavated investigation around the urban area since 1975. Provincial Government Office had been identified as one of the archaeological discovery there.
Directions: 2-5-3 Miya-machi, Fuchu City, Tokyo 183-0023

Next, we went to Fumonji Temple, which belongs to Shingon Buddhism (one of the major schools of Buddhism in Japan, originally spread from India to China through travelling monks). The year this temple was built is still unknown. It belongs to the same branch of temples as the nearby Myokouin temple, which is a very old (built in 859) and historic temple near Fuchuhonmachi station. Fumonji Temple’s principal Buddha is Yakushi-Nyorai, and he is famous as “Me-no-Yakushisama” (“Me” means eyes), therefore, he will heal sickness of your eyes if you pray there.
Directions: 3-17-1 Miya-machi, Fuchu City, Tokyo 183-0023

Next, we saw a golden statue of a horse at the Tokyo Racecourse entrance. The golden horse “Akhal-Teke” statue is more than just a golden horse statue, if you touch it, it is believed to be a good luck charm and you are likely to win a betting ticket. This small but extremely beautiful golden horse statue is representing a legendary horse “Akhal-Teke” that is also said to be the founder of Thoroughbred horse breed, best known for its use of horses in horse racing as they are considered hot-blooded.
Directions: 1-18 Hachiman-cho, Fuchu City, Tokyo 183-0016

Next, we reached the entrance of Musashi Kokufu Hachimangu Shrine. We could see a long path from the first torii gate. There is also a railroad crossing of the Keio Keibajo Line in the middle of the path. It is unique! We passed by the second torii gate. It is a very respectable torii gate as we saw many emblems of chrysanthemum on it. Then we passed by the third torii and we saw two “Komainu” (stone guardian lion-dogs in front of shrines and temples). There were no other worshipers, so it felt like it is a mysterious space with a quiet time flow, and it gave us the illusion that the time has stopped there somehow.
Directions: 2-33 Hachiman-cho, Fuchu City, Tokyo 183-0016

Next, we went to visit Kyurinso Villa which was originally created as a tea garden by the Tokyo prefectural governor in the Taisho era and now it is owned by the Ishibashi family, the founder of Bridgestone, therefore it is a private place.

Directions: 2-34 Hachiman-cho, Fuchu City, Tokyo 183-0016

Next, we went across a promenade beside the main gate of the Tokyo Racecourse, in a quiet shade of trees, to see its mausoleum (7 ~ 8 meters tall and easy to see) and the best racehorse’s tombstones. This fine tower was built to appreciate the spirits of horses which won many races and made a lot of earnings. In addition to the tower there is also enshrined Bato Kannon (Horse-headed Kannon - Buddhist deity of compassion).
Directions: 3-21-1 Miya-machi, Fuchu City, Tokyo 183-0023

Next, we went to Myokenzan Myoken Daizenshin Shrine on the left side of the horses’ mausoleum. There is a torii gate on the left side of the shrine, a stone monument inside the shrine, as well as many wooden “shamoji” (flat rice paddles used in Japanese cuisine to stir and to serve rice, and to mix vinegar into the rice for sushi).
Directions: 3-21 Miya-machi, Fuchu City, Tokyo 183-0023

Behind the shrine there is another shrine located at the top of a small hill, its name is Hiyoshi Shrine, and a few steps further from Hiyoshi Shrine, there is yet another shrine, Tenjin Shrine. There is a stone stairway with a tori gate at the end of it.
Directions: 3-21-1 Miya-machi, Fuchu City, Tokyo 183-0023

After such fulfilling guide tour, we went back to Okunitama Shrine.
We look forward to going for another fascinating guide tour!

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