Little Pilgrimages in Edo-Tokyo


The Kaminarimon ("Thunder Gate") at Senso-Ji Temple, Asakusa, Tokyo
In early August of 2004, I returned to Japan for half a month and completed a number of smaller pilgrimages, all inside the Tokyo city limits. These are mostly small suburban temples, though a few--such as Sensou-ji in Asakusa--are quite large. Likewise, some were sizable in the old days, but are now shadows of their former selves. I have no information on the history of these pilgrimages (and little on the temples themselves) beyond these lists. Nevertheless, I found some real gems among them.

Many of the courses include bangais, or "supernumerary" temples. These sometimes result from the vicissitudes of history: closures, moves, etc. The numbers on the 33 Kannon and the Seven Fukujin pilgrimages are fixed--that is, they are not arbitrary. The others are numbered only for convenience.

Incidentally, a temple may have several names, and virtually every one has at least two: the mountain name and the temple name itself. Thus, in "Kinryuu-zan Sensou-ji," the first is the mountain name, the second the temple name. Some temples will include a cloister name (ending in -in) or may have a nickname based on some attribute or another. I have generally given only the temple name or sometimes that plus the cloister name here. (This is common when the pilgrimage concentrates on a cloister within a larger temple.) Anyway, the map should clear things up; once you get there, you can find out what the temple is commonly called!

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THE EDO 33 KANNON

This course is dedicated to the same popular Bodhisattva of Compassion (Sanskrit Avalokiteshvara) as the larger pilgrimages in Kansai, Kanto, and Chichibu.
  1. Sensou-ji (浅草寺); Taito-ku Asakusa 2-3-1 (map); visited Thursday, August 2, 2004
  2. Seisui-ji (清水寺); Taito-ku Matsugaya 2-25-10 (map); visited Thursday, August 2, 2004
  3. Oo Kannon (大観音); Chuo-ku Nihombashi Ningyocho 1-18-9 (map); visited Thursday, August 2, 2004
  4. Ekou-in (回向院); Sumida-ku Ryogoku 2-8-10 (map); visited Thursday, August 2, 2004
  5. Daianraku-ji (大安楽寺); Chuo-ku Nihombashi Kodemmacho 3-5 (map); visited Thursday, August 2, 2004
  6. Kiyomizu Kannon-dou (清水観音堂); Taito-ku Ueno Koen 1-29 (map); visited Thursday, August 2, 2004
  7. Shinjou-in (心城院); Bunkyo-ku Yushima 3-32-4 (map); visited Saturday, August 11, 2004
  8. Seirin-ji (清林寺); Bunkyo-ku Mukogaoka 2-35-3 (map); visited Monday, August 13, 2004
  9. Jousen-ji (東光山 定泉寺); Bunkyo-ku Hon-komagome 1-7-12 (map); visited Monday, August 13, 2004
  10. Joushin-ji (浄心寺); Bunkyo-ku Mukogaoka 2-17-4 (map); visited Monday, August 13, 2004
  11. Enjou-ji (圓乘寺); Bunkyo-ku Hakusan 1-34-6 (map); visited Monday, August 13, 2004
  12. Denzu-in (伝通院); Bunkyo-ku Koishikawa 3-14-6 (map); visited Saturday, August 11, 2004
  13. Gokoku-ji (護国寺); Bunkyo-ku Otsuka 5-40-1 (map); visited Saturday, August 11, 2004
  14. Konjou-in (Jigen-ji); (金乗院 慈眼寺); Toshima-ku Takada 2-12-39 (map); visited Saturday, August 11, 2004
  15. Houjou-ji (放生寺); Shinjuku-ku Nishi-Waseda 2-1-14 (map); visited Saturday, August 11, 2004
  16. Anyou-ji (安養寺); Shinjuku-ku Kagurazaka 6-2 (map); visited Saturday, August 11, 2004
  17. Houfuku-ji (宝福寺); Nakano-ku Minamidai 3-43-2 (map); visited Monday, August 6, 2004
  18. Shinjou-in (真成院); Shinjuku-ku Wakaba 2-7-8 (map); visited Saturday, August 11, 2004
  19. Touen-ji (東円寺); Suginami-ku Wada 2-18-3 (map); visited Monday, August 6, 2004
  20. Tentoku-ji (天徳寺); Minato-ku Toranomon 3-13-6 (map); visited Friday, August 10, 2004
  21. Zoujou-ji (増上寺); Minato-ku Shibakoen 4-7-35 (map); visited Friday, August 10, 2004
  22. Choukoku-ji (長谷寺); Minato-ku Nishiazabu 2-21-34 (map); visited Friday, August 10, 2004
  23. Daien-ji (大円寺); Bunkyo-ku Mukogaoka 1-11-3 (map); visited Monday, August 13, 2004
  24. Baisou-in (梅窓院); Minato-ku Aoyama 2-26-38 (map); visited Friday, August 10, 2004
  25. Gyoran-ji (魚籃寺); Minato-ku Mita 4-8-34 (map); visited Wednesday, August 8, 2004
  26. Saikai-ji (済海寺); Minato-ku Mita 4-16-23 (map); visited Wednesday, August 8, 2004
  27. Douou-ji (道往寺); Minato-ku Takanawa 2-16-13 (map); visited Wednesday, August 8, 2004
  28. Konchi-in (金地院); Minato-ku Shibakoen 3-5-4 (map); visited Friday, August 10, 2004
  29. Kouyasan Tokyo Betsuin (高野山東京別院); Minato-ku Takanawa 3-15-18 (map); visited Friday, August 10, 2004
  30. Isshin-ji (一心寺); Shinagawa-ku Kitashinagawa 2-4-18 (map); visited Wednesday, August 8, 2004
  31. Honsen-ji (品川寺); Shinagawa-ku Minamishinagawa 3-5-17 (map); visited Wednesday, August 8, 2004
  32. Kannon-ji (観音寺); Setagaya-ku Shimouma 4-9-4 (map); visited Tuesday, August 7, 2004
  33. Ryuusen-ji (瀧泉寺); Meguro-ku Shimomeguro 3-20-26 (map); visited Wednesday, August 15, 2004
  34. (Bangai). Kaiun-ji (海雲寺); Shinagawa-ku Minamishinagawa 3-5-21 (map); visited Wednesday, August 8, 2004




THE EDO THREE EMMA-O

Emma-O is "King of Hell" (Yama in Sanskrit). I am not sure of the significance of the number three.
  1. Ketoku-in (華徳院); Suginami-ku Matsunoki 3-32-12 (map); visited Monday, August 6, 2004
  2. Taiso-ji (太宗寺); Shinjuku-ku Shinjuku 2-9-2 (map); visited Saturday, August 11, 2004
  3. Zenyo-ji (善養寺); Toshima-ku Nishisugamo 4-8-25 (map); visited Tuesday, August 14, 2004




THE EDO SIX AMIDA

Amida is the Sanskrit Amitabha, the most popular Buddha in Japan. (Kannon is an emanation of him.) I am not sure why the number six is associated with him except, perhaps, because his Pure Land is devided into six realms, as is this world (see "Six Jizo" below).
  1. Saifuku-ji (西福寺); Kita-ku Toshima 2-14-1 (map); visited Tuesday, August 14, 2004
  2. Emyou-ji (恵明寺); Adachi-ku Kohoku 2-4-3 (map); visited Tuesday, August 14, 2004
  3. Muryou-ji (無量寺); Kita-ku Nishigahara 1-34-8 (map); visited Wednesday, August 15, 2004
  4. Yoraku-ji (与楽寺); Kita-ku Tabata 1-25-1 (map); visited Monday, August 13, 2004
  5. Jouraku-in (常楽院); Chofu City Tsutsujigaoka 4-9-1 (map); visited Tuesday, August 7, 2004
  6. Jokou-ji (常光寺); Koto-ku Kameido 4-48-3 (map); visited Sunday, August 5, 2004
  7. (Bangai). Seio-ji (性翁寺); Adachi-ku Oji 2-19-3 (map); visited Tuesday, August 14, 2004
  8. (Bangai). Shourin-ji (昌林寺); Kita-ku Nishigahara 3-12-6 (map); visited Tuesday, August 14, 2004




THE EDO GOSHIKI FUDO

The fudo are five fearsome figures, in this course depicted with various eye colors (goshiki means "five-color"). Those five colors--black, white, blue, red, and yellow--are more-or-less the traditional "colors of the rainbow," being black and white and the three primary colors. The fifth temple, for the yellow-eyed fudo, has three candidates, perhaps due to the destruction or move of a temple, or due to some sort of competitive streak in the temple operators. Anyway, I went to all three.
  1. Ryusen-ji (瀧泉寺); (Meguro Fudo - Black Eyes) Meguro-ku Shiomomeguro 3-20-26 (map); visited Wednesday, August 15, 2004
  2. Konjou-in Jigen-ji (金乗院 慈眼寺); (Mejiro Fudo - White Eyes) Toshima-ku Takada 2-12-39 (map); visited Saturday, August 11, 2004
  3. Saishou-ji Kyogaku-in (最勝寺 教学院); (Meao Fudo - Blue Eyes) Setagaya-ku Taishido 4-15-1 (map); visited Tuesday, August 7, 2004
  4. Nankoku-ji (南谷寺); (Meaka Fudo - Red Eyes) Bunkyo-ku Honkomagome 1-20-20 (map); visited Monday, August 13, 2004
  5. Saisho-ji (最勝寺); (Meki Fudo - Yellow Eyes Alternate 1) Edogawa-ku Hirai 1-25-32 (map); visited Sunday, August 5, 2004
  6. Eikyu-ji (永久寺); (Meki Fudo - Yellow Eyes Alternate 2) Taito-ku Minowa 2-14-5 (map); visited Sunday, August 5, 2004
  7. Ryugen-ji (竜厳寺); (Meki Fudo - Yellow Eyes Alternate 3) Shibuya-ku Jingumae 2-3-8 (map); visited Friday, August 10, 2004




THE EDO SIX JIZO

Jizo is Kshitigarbha, the Bodhisattva who vowed to save all beings from Hell. As there are six realms of existence, so there are six levels of hell; jizo will save the beings in all of them. He is often seen carrying a staff with six jangly rings on it, or is depicted in multiples of six. In this course, he is placed on historic six roads leading out of Edo (Tokyo), to provide protection to travelers. The highway name is given after that of the temple. (I did stop at Honsen-ji on my walk down the Tokaido!)
  1. Honsen-ji (Tokaido) (品川寺); Shinagawa-ku Minamishinagawa 3-5-17 (map); visited Wednesday, August 8, 2004
  2. Touzen-ji (Oshu Kaido) (東禅寺); Taito-ku Higashiasakusa 2-12-13 (map); visited Sunday, August 5, 2004
  3. Taiso-ji (Koshu Kaido) (太宗寺); Shinjuku-ku Shinjuku 2-9-2 (map); visited Saturday, August 11, 2004
  4. Shinsho-ji (Nakasendo) (真性寺); Toshima-ku Sugamo 3-21-21 (map); visited Tuesday, August 14, 2004
  5. Reigan-ji (Mito Kaido) (霊巌寺); Koto-ku Shirakawa 1-3-32 (map); visited Sunday, August 5, 2004
  6. Eitai-ji (Chiba Kaido) (永代寺); Koto-ku Tomioka 1-15-1 (map); visited Sunday, August 5, 2004
  7. (Bangai). Jomyo-in (浄名院); Taito-ku Ueno Sakuragi 2-6-4 (map); visited Monday, August 13, 2004




THE TOKYO TEN SHINTO SHRINES

To my knowledge, there is no tradition of pilgrimage cicuits in Shinto (though certainly there were pilgrimages to individual shrines). Nevertheless, the ten major and minor shrines have been assembled into a pilgrimage in imitation of the Buddhist ones.
  1. Nezu Jinja (根津神社); Bunkyo-ku Nezu 1-28-9 (map); visited Monday, August 13, 2004
  2. Kanda Myoujin (神田明神); Chiyoda-ku Sotokanda 2-16-2 (map); visited Saturday, August 11, 2004
  3. Kameido Tenjinja (亀戸天神社); Koto-ku Kameido 3-6-1 (map); visited Sunday, August 5, 2004
  4. Hakusan Jinja (白山神社); Bunkyo-ku Hakusan 5-31-26 (map); visited Monday, August 13, 2004
  5. Oji Jinja (王子神社); Kita-ku Oji Honchome 1-1-12 (map); visited Tuesday, August 14, 2004
  6. Shiba Daijingu (芝大神宮); Minato-ku Shiba Daimon 1-12-7 (map); visited Friday, August 10, 2004
  7. Hie Jinja (日枝神社); Chiyoda-ku Nagatacho 2-10-5 (map); visited Saturday, August 11, 2004
  8. Shinagawa Jinja (品川神社); Shinagawa-ku Kitashinagawa 3-7-15 (map); visited Wednesday, August 8, 2004
  9. Tomioka Hachimangu (富岡八幡宮); Koto-ku Tomioka 1-20-3 (map); visited Sunday, August 5, 2004
  10. Akasaka Hikawa Jinja (赤坂氷川神社); Minato-ku Akasaka 6-10-12 (map); visited Saturday, August 11, 2004




THE YANAKA SEVEN FUKUJIN

This pilgrimage was not undertaken in my "mad dash" in August of 2004. In fact, my records seem to indicate that I did this on June 7, 1998. The problem is, the course is only supposed to be open on the first ten days of January, as a new Year tradition. Did I do it in January, and come back to take pictures--clearly marked by the camera--in June? The mystery remains... In either case, it was actually the first actual "pilgrimage" I completed in Japan!

Anyway, these seven "gods," many of them imported from India or China, are immensely popular. The route is apleasant two-hour walk through a gorgeous old neighborhood that is furukusai ("stinking of age"). It's highly recommended for anyone who is in Tokyo at the right time. (January? June? Ay...) Don't forget to buy you "passport" and have it stamped, as I did:

  1. Toukaku-ji (Fukurokuju) (東覚寺); Kita-ku Tabata 2-7 (map); visited 1998
  2. Seiun-ji (Ebisu) (青雲寺); Arakawa-ku Nishinippori 3-6-4 (map); visited 1998
  3. Shusei-in (Hotei) (修性院); Arakawa-ku Nishinippori 3-7-12 (map); visited 1998
  4. Tennou-ji (Bishamonten) (天王寺); Taito-ku Yanaka 7-14-8 (map); visited 1998
  5. Chouan-ji (Juroujin) (長安寺); Taito-ku Yanaka 5-2-22 (map); visited 1998
  6. Gokoku-in (Daikokuten) (護国院); Taito-ku Ueno Koen 10-18 (map); visited 1998
  7. Shinobazu Benten-dou (Benzaiten) (不忍池弁天堂); Taito-ku Ueno Koen 2-1 (map); visited 1998



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Last updated December 3, 2019

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