The Keio Line principally connects Shinjuku to the western side of Tokyo with seven different lines running through to the likes of suburban city Hachiōji and the mountainous area at Takaosanguchi. All of it’s stations actually lie within the boundaries of Tokyo and, thanks to regular free tickets, Tokyo Fox has dug deep to come up with a few places worthy of visit beyond perennial favourites like Mount Takao and Tama Zoo……
#7 – Takahata Fudoson Kongo-ji Temple @ 733 Takahata, Hino.
There was never ever really any intention to include any temples or shrines in this series (unless they were of the quirky variety) but then I heard about this place which reminded me of the Narita-San temple complex in Chiba. Travel out to the far west of Tokyo and a few stops before the Keio Hachioji terminal is Takahatafudo Station (KO29), and only a few minutes walk from there is the temple. There is a koala alongside the five-storey pagoda on a sign outside the station but I didn’t come across the native Australian marsupial whilst wandering around the area. I can only assume that’s something to do with Tama Zoo which is just a couple of kilometres away to the north.
Some rather bizarre food and drink offerings are often left at the altar of temples in Japan but eggs has to be one of the more unusual I’ve seen. I do wonder what exactly happens to such offerings after they’ve been there for a while!!
With the red leaves present in the next collection of pictures, you’d guess that I visited this temple in the Autumn but it was actually mid-December when I went and I was certainly surprised to see such foliage blending in with the colours of the five-storied pagoda itself.
It is one of the oldest temples in the Kanto region with 1100 years of history and there are plenty of statues of cultural and historical significance dotted around the place including a Fudo Myo-o one in the building next to the office.
In the midst of this place is a pretty awesome shrine full of little white kitsune (fox) figurines. As nice as it was, it didn’t quite merit it’s very own ‘On The Fox Trail…’ post!
The beauty of this place is not just defined by the temple stuff but more for the hills and mountains behind it which feature 88 little jizo statues along it’s many routes. This course is presumably inspired by the 88 temple pilgrimage on Shikoku (Japan’s fourth largest main island) which is a challenge popular with retired people. The one here at Kongo-ji Temple is a far easier and quicker experience to undertake.
At the start of my hike I was stopped by a Japanese guy which is a rarity in this country as you generally are left alone apart from when they’re drunk! He asked me where I was from (which is always the first question!) and then gave me a history of his daughter or someone being married to an English guy from Oxford.
The original temple was actually located on the top of the hill but when it was destroyed in a storm in 1335 the replacement one was rebuilt in its present location. On my descent I inevitably lost my bearings and ended up going in the opposite direction. You’d think it would be quite easy to not lose sight of a massive five storied pagoda but I managed it!
Click here to read ‘Hidden Treasures Along The Keio Line #1 – Nakayasu Hotel’
Click here to read ‘Hidden Treasures Along The Keio Line #2 – Mount Arigata’
Click here to read ‘Hidden Treasures Along The Keio Line #3 – Toko-ji Temple’
Click here to read ‘Hidden Treasures Along The Keio Line #4 – Earth Tech Char Sub-One’
Click here to read ‘Hidden Treasures Along The Keio Line #5 – National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)’
Click here to read ‘Hidden Treasures Along The Keio Line #6 – Inter University Seminar House’