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Hidden Temples Tour in Tokyo

Visit a little-known temple alley on this walking tour in Tokyo's "Little Kyoto".

Overview

Teramachi Dori, otherwise known as Temple Street, is a peaceful area of Setagaya where 26 temples are concentrated. Only 11 minutes by train from Shinjuku Station, Temple Street bears little in common with the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku, instead being a haven for those who wish to stroll around a quiet part of Tokyo and explore some hidden gems in this authentic, local spot.

This tour is for people who want to visit off-the-beaten-path spots in Tokyo and discover more of the true Tokyo beyond the glittering lights and skyscrapers. There are not so many spots in central Tokyo where so many temples are clustered together like this, and of those that exist, many are overcrowded with tourists, making the experience not quite so relaxing as it could be. This Tokyo Temple Town tour takes you on a serene walk through an ordinary neighbourhood and lets you delve deeper into one of the many faces of Tokyo.


The tour schedule:


Meet your guide at Chitose-Karasuyama Station (9:00/13:00)
The station is easily accessed by taking the Keio Line from Shinjuku Station for 11 minutes.


570ce52c3f08f5645200e9276098eaff887fe683.jpgExplore Temple Street (9:20-10:45/13:20-14:45)
Travel to Temple Street by taxi (or bus depending on the size of your group). You will strong down the street, stopping to explore any of the temples that look interesting to you. Your guide can provide an explanation on each spot, along with general history of the area. Some of the best temples are:


16b8d9bd60f17bc06759d29c8cd97d3c07676a5b.jpgKogen-in Temple
This temple has been in the area since 1926 after being relocated from Shinagawa. Its pond called Benten-ike is a calm and serene spot where wild ducks are often found. The shrine in the middle houses Hosho Benzaiten.


old house view.jpgMyoju-ji Temple
Myojuji was founded in the Yanaka area of Tokyo in 1631 but was moved to Setagaya after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. On the temple grounds you can find a mini bamboo forest, colourful azalea bushes and a former priest's quarters building that is over 100 years old.

The Nabeshima guesthouse which can be seen in the grounds of the temple belonged to the Nabeshima family, one of the powerful feudal lords during the Edo period, and it features architecture that was reserved only for high-ranking people. The building was relocated from Roppongi due to the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. The house shows the lifestyle of the nobility and upper class during the Meiji period.


PXL_20240624_044824145.MP.jpgJoei-ji Temple
Joei-ji was moved to the area in 1924 from Tsukiji. You will hear about the temple and stroll around the beautiful green grounds.


PXL_20240624_051227663.jpgTamon-in Temple
Tamon-in suffered damage in the Second World War and the surviving buildings and graveyard were moved to Setagaya in 1949. There is a three-meter-high “grave of 568 unknown people”, which enshrines those who died of in the Tenmei Famine.


azaleanursery3.jpgKarasuyama Tsutsuji Ryokuchi Park (in azalea season only) (10:45-11:00/14:45-15:00)
From mid-April to mid-May (approximately), you can see 32 different types of azalea flower over a 1000sqm park. It's a gorgeous place to take photo in season, so the tour will stop there in spring.


f8d7fcb0e788b18c3015a82f63a376a896adabe7.jpgSetagaya Literary Museum (11:15-11:45/15:15-15:45)
The Setagaya Literary Museum contains exhibits by both comptemporary and classic Japanese authors, as well as displays of original manga illustrations and animation themed exhibits. They also have special collections that change regularly, along with a special area for children's books.

You will visit the museum with your guide who will explain some of Japan's most famous literary works to you, as well as letting you browse at your leisure. You will reach the museum either by bus or walking, depending on how you feel.


PXL_20240624_040946177.jpgLocal shops and cafes (11:45-12:30/15:45-16:30)
Walk back to the station with your guide, stopping at interesting shops along the way like a local old fashioned tofu shop or the quaint Showa era themed tea shop Hōsekibako.


Return to Chitose-Karasuyama Station (16:30)

Highlights

• See the beautiful lily pond at Kogen-in Temple
• Explore the beautiful gardens and bamboo forest at Myojuji Temple
• Step into a world of manga and books at the Setagaya Literary Museum
• Refresh with a cup of tea or one of their 10 types of creamiing soda at Hōsekibako

Note

• The azalea garden will only be featured in this tour when the flowers are blooming around April/May

  Price ¥12,000

¥12,000 per adult if in a group
¥6,000 per child (6-12)
¥24,000 for 1 adult by themselves

  Duration 3.5 hours
  Hours of availability

Tuesday-Sunday
9:00-12:30 / 13:00-16:30
*The tour does not operate on Mondays

  Inclusions

• English speaking guide
• Entry to the Setagaya Literary Museum
• Bus tickets and/or taxi ride

  Exclusions

• Hotel pick up (this can be arranged for an additional cost)
• Food and drink

  Participants 1-10

Meeting Point

Chitose-Karasuyama Station North Exit

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