Tag Archives: kagurazaka

Zenkokuji temple、Secret side of Tokyo

Zenkokuji shrine, Kagurazaka, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Zenkokuji temple was built in 1595(late Momoyama era) in Bakurocho, Taito ward, which is much more east direction from here.  The temple was moved here in 1793  because it was caught in several fires and burned down.  Now people think that this temple is like a key spot of Kagurazaka street.

The principal image is Bishamonten (Vaisravana) in Zenkokuji.   In Hinduism, Vaisravana is positioned as one of the guardian gods of Buddhism.   As Vaisravana is the god of fortune, welfare appeared in the year of the tiger, the day of the tiger and the time of the tiger. 

We can see Bishamonten only on fixed days.


A pair of Tigers sit at the approach of this temple. 

Do they look like a tiger?  The statue was put up here in1849.  At that time, most of Japanese people could not have any chance to see a tiger. That made this statue unlike a real tiger.

The Ukiyoe of kagurazaka

Here are Hiroshige Utagawa’s Kagurazaka in Ukiyoe and the present picture of the place that Utagawa drew.  

We can see the the gate to Edo castle as circled with red line.  (1830~1844) Late Tenpo

Hiroshige Utagawa Ushigomekagurazaka


In the present picture, I also draw a red circle around the top of the hill  where the gate to the castle was located. 

Actually, we can see the remain of the stone gate beside JR IIdabashi station west exit.  The outer moat  is next to the remain of the gate.   In spring, a lot of cherry blossoms bloom along the moat.  We can enjoy the view of the moat sipping coffee at a cafe along the moat.