2/02/2004

Yoyogi Hachimangu, Tokyo

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Yoyogi Hachimangu 代々木八幡宮

Yoyogi is a disctict of Tokyo.


. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. WKD : Hachiman Shrines and their festivals .


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source : tan-tokyo.doorblog.jp
Yoyogi Shusse Inari 代々木出世稲荷


Career with Daruma 出世だるま
. Shusse Inari Shrines 出世稲荷神社 .


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It's a stroll in a park to find the old Yoyogi
By SUMIKO ENBUTSU

The Japan Times: Dec. 3, 2004
Read the original to see the pictures.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fe20041203se.htm


The town of Shinjuku dates from the late 17th century, when a post-station was set up there on the Koshu-kaido on the northwestern edge of Edo (present-day Tokyo). To the south, Yoyogi was then mainly sparsely populated hills that rolled on as far as the eye could see.

Small rivers wound their way through these hills, supporting farming hamlets in the narrow valleys, while the uplands were dotted with the suburban estates of daimyo lords.
The accompanying 1830s woodblock print by Hasegawa Settan, titled "Yoyogi Hachiman-gu," depicts a Shinto shrine on a hill, with the Udagawa River running below.

Dedicated to Hachiman, a martial god, the shrine is said to have been founded in 1212 -- by a warrior of the Genji Clan -- as a branch of the great Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu in Kamakura. As time passed, however, Hachiman came to be worshipped as a local deity in Yoyogi.

The Udagawa River is a tributary of the Shibuya River. Though now a culvert, its name lives on -- the district north of JR Shibuya Station is called Udagawacho. The Shibuya River used to flow round an elevated area, which was to the right of the land depicted in the print -- and which encompasses what are now Yoyogi Park and Meiji Shrine. Today it runs along part of Meiji-dori near Ebisu Station and then on into Tokyo Bay.

Reportedly, the name Yoyogi is derived from an ancient fir tree that grew where Meiji Shrine is now. Soaring into the sky, this evergreen conifer was praised as a symbol of longevity and came to be called "Yoyogi (Tree of Generation after Generation)." As anyone who climbed high up this tree was afforded a good view of Edo Bay, it is said that Lord Ii Naosuke (see this column Aug. 6, 2004), who owned the land, had his men scale it to scan the bay on a daily basis after Cmdr. Perry's Black Ships arrived in 1853.

After the 1868 Meiji Restoration, eastern Yoyogi became imperial property, and Meiji Shrine was built there in 1920. Western Yoyogi, however, was maintained as farmland with tea and mulberry among the main crops. But then, in 1907, the farms were requisitioned by the Imperial Army and used as a drill field.

In a dramatic turnabout following Japan's defeat in World War II, Yoyogi's name was changed to Washington Heights, and U.S. Occupation Forces resided there. When they left in 1963, their residential facilities became the 1964 Tokyo Olympics Village. Yoyogi was finally "liberated" in 1967, when it was reborn as a verdant park after 30,000 trees were planted in the area. Encircled by a thick boundary of trees and with tracks running through it for rambling and jogging, 16-hectare Yoyogi Park is now a haven for stressed-out Tokyoites.

A silent witness to all these transitions is Yoyogi Hachiman Shrine, which remains on the same hill as seen in the print, though, of course, heavy urbanization has encroached upon it.
To get to the shrine, start at Yoyogi Koen Station on the Chiyoda Line. Exit 3 is recommended for a short detour to observe the vestiges of the original lay of the land. This exit is on a road bordering Yoyogi Park, and the road follows the valley in which the Udagawa River ran, and leads to Shibuya off to the right.

Make a U-turn to the left and cross a playground before turning right and then left again, just before where a red Coca-Cola vending machine stands. Cross the rail tracks and follow the snaking uphill road. (Do not take the second fork on the left.) Arriving at a stop light on Yamate-dori, the shrine's front gate is immediately to your right.

Located 32 meters above sea level, the shrine area was inhabited by humans about 4,500 years ago -- as was discovered in an archaeological excavation in 1950. To commemorate this, a real-size replica of one of the unearthed ancient dwellings is on display in woods on the left.
Notice a pair of stone lanterns close to the hand-cleansing stand in front of the main hall of the shrine. These were donated in 1909 by 17 farmers who were forced to move from Yoyogi owing to the expropriation of their farms for military use. Feeling deep sorrow about the disintegration of their village community, they had their names and a farewell message inscribed on the lanterns.

Leaving the shrine by a side gate to the right of the main hall, you return again to the road. Go left to enter Yoyogi Park via the Sangubashi Gate. You may wander about as you like, but a suggested walk is to stroll uphill toward the central open area and turn right on the second jogging circuit. The leaves of the Japanese maples here turn deep red, usually in early December.

Past the artificial square-shaped ponds, turn right at the T intersection ahead and you will find a solitary black pine tree named "Eppeishiki-no Matsu (Pine of Royal Review)." The tree used to mark where the Emperor would stand when he -- as the supreme commander of the military forces in prewar years -- reviewed military parades and drills. Nowadays the pine is simply admired for its beauty.


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In Yoyogi, there is a cafe called "Kingyo", Goldfish.
Their Homepage is called TOKYO DARUMA.

東京だるまデザインフェスタ
だるま商店」
金魚カフェ(代々木1)で初の個展「東京だるま」を開催する。


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