Experience the Spirituality of Japan’s Shrines and Temples

Along the Seibu Line, many Japanese temples and shrines welcome visitors who come to worship and pay respect to the natural surroundings. Rich in history and culture, these places offer more than just scenic views and brilliant architecture — they offer a spiritual experience. Take a moment to find inner peace through zazen, sitting meditation, or praying for good luck at these historic settings.

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Ikebukuro Line
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An innovative temple devoted to the arts

Kongo-in Temple

Kongo-in Temple, founded 500 years ago, is a Shingon Buddhist temple with astonishing gold leaf workmanship that also acts as a community space for creatives. Located near the birthplace of Japanese comics, Tokiwaso, this unique temple pays tribute to those who do the creative work, past and present, with the beloved Manga Jizo statue which holds an artist’s pen and wears robes inspired by manga panels. Following the teachings of Kobo Dashi, the temple continues to pray for peace and happiness for all.

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Admire a spectacular temple garden

Nonin-ji Temple

Though the temple dates back to 1501, the garden was not created until many years later during the Momoyama period (1573 – 1603). Nonin-ji Temple’s garden skillfully incorporates the steep slope of the nearby mountain with the temple complex; in fact, it has been selected as one of the country’s top hundred Japanese gardens. The temple grounds feature a bell tower, beautiful gates and a main hall with an impressive interior. Visitors can join Zen meditation sessions every Sunday from 9am – 12pm (reservation required).

  • 9am – 4pm (until 5pm during summer)
  • Free (300 yen to enter the grand hall and garden)
  • 1329 Hanno, Hanno-shi, Saitama
  • 20-min walk from Hannō Station (Ikebukuro Line)
  • noninji.net/english.test_/index.html
Shinjuku Line
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Energy sites effective for healing eye diseases and fulfilling parenting

Araiyakushi Baishouin Temple

As it is beneficial to cure all illnesses and fulfill various wishes, the temple has been gathering faith from many people. The principal object of worship discovered through the phenomenon of light coming out of the old plum tree in the thatched hut is an extremely rare statue of combining two Buddhas, Yakushi Nyorai and Nyoirin Kannon. Famous for working a miracle to Masako, a daughterof Hidetada, the second Shogun, during the Edo period. It is also a renowned place for the bells ringing for the New Year’s Eve, the New Year’s Visit, and cherry blossoms.

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Shrine with a famous relative

Higashi Fushimi Inari-jinja Shrine

This shrine dedicated to Inari is an extension of the famous Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Kyoto. Its name literally means “East Fushimi Inari Jinja” and it was officially divided from its Kyoto counterpart in 1929. Here you can find stunning vermillion gates lined up to make a series of winding tunnels. Stylized statues of Inari’s messengers, kitsune (foxes), are present wherever you go and you will find small offerings (typically money, rice and cups of sake) at their feet.
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The “cat came back” shrine for cat lovers

Azusamiten-jinja Shrine

This shrine has become a popular place to pray for the return of your cat ever since internationally renowned jazz pianist Yamashita Yosuke prayed here for his lost feline friend. Miraculously, some say, his beloved cat returned safely the next day – after being gone a full 17 days! Even before that happened, though, this place was meant to honor cats, who were seen as protectors for the silkworm industry since they are the natural predator of the rats who threatened the worms. To this day, people buy ema (wooden plaques) and hang them at the shrine to pray for their feline companions.

  • 10am-12am, 1pm-3:30pm (shrine office)
  • Free
  • 4-1-1 Sunagawa-cho, Tachikawa-shi, Tokyo
  • 15-min walk from Musashi-Sunagawa Station (Haijima Line)
  • azusami-suitengu.net/ (Japanese)
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