The geographical centre of Tokyo it may be the temples and shrines of Koganei City tend to show a decidedly local character. A gentle ambience, even the city's most exquisite shrine location has a touch of the gentle about it. Here is an introduction to some of these locations in Koganei and how to reach them.
Founded in the mid-18th century, Kajinoichikishima Shrine features two pairs of komainu guardian dog statues, one pair of more recent construction. The grounds may somewhat nondescript but they are brought to life by bright red torii gates and a nagare-zukuri roof design for the main shrine building.
An 11-minute walk from Higashi-Koganei Station on the JR Chuo Line.
The city's largest shrine complex, Koganei Shrine is home to, most curiously, an archery range at its rear. Another curiosity is the mound made from stone grinding wheels and the bovine statue. Long stone pathways, a torii gate as well as plenty of trees give the shrine a sense of solitude while the New Year festival offers a spring to the shrine's step.
A 13-minute walk from Musashi-Koganei Station on the JR Chuo Line.
A hidden gem of Tokyo, the 16th-century built Nukui Shrine is home to an absolutely charming ambience. Set by a wooded grove that is home to an ancient pine tree and spring water, the shrine's traditional pond filled with koi carp fish and decorated with a classical bridge design give it a special charm.
A 15-minute walk from Kokubunji Station on the JR Chuo East Line.
Enshrining Sugawara no Michizane, a famous scholar of the 9th century whose studious nature saw him become the patron deity for study and learning, Ten Shrine was established in the mid-18th century. Also known as Azumachiten Jinja and unabashedly local, this shrine is simply, honest and unpretentious.
A 2-minute walk from Shin-Koganei Station on the Seibu Tamagawa Line.