Hanazono Jinja: Find Peace and Prosperity at Shinjuku’s Largest Shrine

One of my favorite pastimes is discovering temples and shrines tucked away within the dense urban landscape of Tokyo. Sometimes the only hints you’ll see of these sacred places are seemingly out of place statues or vermilion tori gates near a sidewalk, beckoning you to explore further. Giving in to your curiosity will often lead you to secluded patches of tranquilly hidden among Tokyo’s ubiquitous skyscrapers. The Hanazono Shrine, ironically nestled right next to Shinjuku’s famous Kabukicho and Golden Gai entertainment districts, is the perfect example of such a discovery.

2018-08-15   Culture, Shinto, Travel Destinations, Tokyo,


A brief history of the Hanazono Shrine

According to the Shinjuku Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Hanazono Shrine was established at its current location sometime between the years 1624 and 1644. The shrine’s name comes from its origin as the flower garden of a samurai family (“hanazono” literally means flower garden in English).
As with many temples and shrines in Japan, the Hanazono Shrine could not escape the constant threat of fires. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout the generations, and the shrine that you can visit today was established in 1965.

The Hanazono Shrine is dedicated to serving Inari, a deity that presides over a variety of life’s most important aspects, including fertility, agriculture, industry, and economic prosperity. Naturally, this makes the shrine a popular place for those seeking success in both love and business. Considering the latter, the Hanazono Shrine, standing out against a backdrop of office and commercial buildings, finds itself in the perfect location (as evidenced by salarymen who stop by to pay their respects on their way to work).

A tori-gate tunnel representing the passage to the spirt world.

Events and activities

With good fortune or precise trip planning, you’ll find that the Hanazono Shrine offers much more than a peaceful place of worship and urban escape. Events and festivals are held almost every month of the year, including the elaborate Tori-no-Ichi in November, celebrating the rooster days of the Chinese Zodiac calendar. Additionally, every Sunday, the temple grounds become a bustling flea market where you can find that perfect souvenir. If you are collecting goshuin, the Hanazono Shrine monks will fill a page in your book with beautiful calligraphy and an elegant crimson stamp.

The goshuin from the Hanazono Shrine. Inari, the deity of the shrine is also closely associated with foxes.

Find tranquility when you need it the most

Whether you are shopping to your heart’s content in Shinjuku-sanchome or exploring the depths of Kabukicho, the Hanazono Shrine is the perfect place to catch a breath of fresh air. Pay your respects and appreciate your surroundings, and perhaps you’ll find yourself blessed with some of Inari’s good fortune.

For history buffs, as detailed in The Tokyo Files, the Hanazono Shrine is not far from Shinjuku Esplanade Park, which was built over a former streetcar route.

Check out the following articles for related content on temples and shrines:
The Goshuincho: A Necessity for Japan Travel Enthusiasts
Visit Suga Shrine in Tokyo’s Yotsuya: Ward off evil then see a real-life location for the hit anime film, “Your Name”
Let’s Explore Arakicho: Empty Fields Turned into a Temple District in the Heart of Tokyo

For smartphone users, please click the link below to go to the Tadaima Japan website which includes additional location details:
Hanazono Jinja: Find Peace and Prosperity at Shinjuku’s Largest Shrine

If you liked this article, please share it by clicking on one (or all) of the buttons below

You might also like

AUTHOR

Anthony

Anthony

Writer / Translator

Originally from Riverside, California, I've been living, working, and writing in Japan since 2009. Japan has become my second home, and I'm especially fond of Shinjuku, Tokyo. That being said, I also love getting out into the countryside and exploring the entire country. Through Tadaima Japan, I hope to share the wonders of Japan with a wider, international audience. Check out my articles if you enjoy exploring on foot, convenient cafes, and affordable dining.

Information

Address 5-17-3, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Hours ---
Price FREE (prices for shrine activities and events vary)
Close ---
Access East and west sides of Shinjuku Station
Phone +81-(0)3-3209-5265
Language Japanese
Website http://www.hanazono-jinja.or.jp/mt/top/