With its down-to-earth gritty character, few expect Edogawa City Ward to be anything more than just another suburb. But the area is home to a serious number of hidden highlights, including its many local temples and shrines. Off the usual tourist track, the these locations feature many unique points of interest. Here is an introduction to some of the temples and shrines of Edogawa and how to reach them.

Hirai Tenso Katori Shrine

A rather striking structure, Hirai Tenso Katori Shrine is said to have been built in the late Edo period. Flanked by a couple of stone komainu guardian dogs and accessible through two torii gates, the shrine pays its respects to Futsunushi, the deity of the sword and lightning, giving its worship a decided edge to it.

A 10-minute walk from Hirai Station on the Chuo-Sobu Line.

Kamikoiwa Tenso Shrine

Listed as part of the ward's one hundred views, Kamikoiwa Tenso Shrine is not particularly large but inside this former local village shrine can be found several extremely aged feudal-style paintings. The shrine itself features a couple of stylised lion motifs while the grounds are also home to a small traditional kura storehouse.

A 3-minute walk from Keisei Koiwa Station on the Keisei Line.

Zentokuji Temple

Part of a small group of local temples and shrines, Zentokuji Temple was established over three hundred years ago though the current construction and style is decidedly modern. The shrine's main attraction are the fascinatingly curious tanuki raccoon dog statues standing out front with some rather, well... oversized design features.

A 17-minute walk from Kasai Station on the Tozai Line.

Zenyoji Temple

Sitting right by the Edo River, Zenyoji Temple is home to what is thought to be the country's Japan's oldest pine tree as well as its widest. At 600 years of age, the Yogo no Matsu is a grand old pine and is registered as a National Natural Property. The tree features soil brought in from each of the 88 temples found along Shikoku Island's famous pilgrimage route.

A 15-minute walk from Edogawa Station on the Keisei Line.