Unwilling to idle away my time at home during the weekend, today I went to the Kagurazaka and Iidabashi area to have a carefree afternoon by using the Tokyo Metro 24 hour Ticket.
The ticket offers unlimited rides on all Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines within 24 hours and thus enables travelers to save some transportation fees. It takes only 20 minutes to go from Tokyo Station to Kagurazaka Station. You can take the Marunouchi line, transfer to the Tozai line at Otemachi Station, and then arrive at Kagurazaka.
After exiting from Kagurazaka station, you can just walk along the street to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and light music. Follow the path decorated with the “Kagurazaka” flags and you won’t get lost. Kagurazaka is a special area; while international travellers come to Japan to seek the sceneries that reveal Japanese traditions and local views, local inhabitants come to Kagurazaka to enjoy the exotic street and foreign cuisines.
There are various shops standing along the street; for instance, cafes, amazing restaurants serving Japanese or Western cuisines, shops of ceramic art works, flower stores, 100 yen shops, and Fujiya, the well-known dessert resaurant. Walking along the street, you will discover numerous interesting groceries, daily commodities, and Japanese artifacts. After shopping, you can also refresh yourself by having a cup of afternoon tea and a piece of cake in a cafe or dessert shop!
In addition to spending your time visiting different shops and restaurants, you can also go to the Japanese shrines nearby and have a look at the Japanese traditional architecture. The photo below is of Akagi Shrine, a shrine near Kagurazaka Station.The shrine is built to worship the god Iwatsutsuo and the goddess Akagihime. There are also two other shrines inside the Akagi Shrine, including the Keisetsu Shrine, which worships Sugawara no Michizane.
Sugawara no Michizane, also known as the god of learning, was an excellent scholar, poet and politician of the Heian Period of Japan, and that is why there are lots of people coming to pray for knowledge and success at school and to write down their wishes on Emas, the small wooden plaques on which worshippers write their prayers.
Although most of the shrines feature traditional elements, Akagi Shrine is memorable and unique because it is right next to a modern building and thus displays a conflicting sight between the traditional and the modern.
Apart from Akagi Shrine, you can also visit Zengokuji Temple in the Kagurazaka area. Zenkokuji is a Temple of Nichiren Shu Buddhism. The statue of Bishamonten and the statue of Sekiko in Zenkokuji are both the designated tangible cultural properties. The Temple has a completely different feeling from Akigi Shrine and is quite worth visiting.
Walking along Kagurazaka street, you will finally arrive at Iidabashi. Tokyo Daijinhu Shrine, a Japanese shrine popular among the local inhabitants, is situated just within a 5-minute walk from Iidabashi Station. You should not miss this place if you come to Iidabashi. Tokyo Daijingu Shrine is a popular spot for Japanese-style weddings and other relationship-related activities because of its reputation as a “love power spot.” Lots of people come to pray at Tokyo Daijingu Shrine, wishing to meet their perfect match or wishing for an ideal marriage. Although Tokyo Daijingu Shrine is not located in the famous, boisterous sightseeing area, it still attracts numerous visitors. The fact that people need to wait in line at the “Chōzuya,” a traditional place for ritual cleansing before entering the shrine, even during the weekdays shows how popular the Shrine is for Japanese locals!
If you are a traveler using the Tokyo Subway Ticket, it would be quite convenient for you to transfer to Ikebukuro or Shinjuku after having a relaxing afternoon at Kagurazaka and Iidabashi; transferring to Ginza, Meguro or Tokyo Station is convenient as well. I also recommended you plan your own one day trip and experience your own unique Tokyo!
See you next time~
Edited by Christine