Kitaro Tea House, featuring spooky cartoon character “Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro” by Shigeru Mizuki (Photo: Yoshiko Toyama)

Jindaiji Temples in Musashino

Enjoy soba, temples, and botanical garden in Tokyo

Kitaro Tea House, featuring spooky cartoon character “Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro” by Shigeru Mizuki (Photo: Yoshiko Toyama)
Yoshiko Toyama   - 4 min read

The clear streams of Jindiaji have always made for tasty drinking water and wonderful food - especially soba (buckwheat noodles). You will feel the "Qi" (気, pronounced as “chi”, meaning energy) in the atmosphere around the stream. This is why Jindaiji area is one of the most refreshing spots in Tokyo.

There are some beautiful streams in the Jindaiji area. Enjoying becoming renewed from the energy here. After a leisurely stroll by the streams, you can enjoy very tasty soba in the Jindaiji temples area. There are 20 or more soba restaurants here--from expensive ones to very reasonable ones. Choose any one of the soba restaurants, and I’m pretty sure all of them serve great soba! The price differences will be due to the interior or atmosphere of the restaurant, that's all.

Additionally, very near the main gate is the pleasurable and amusing Kitaro Tea House, featuring “Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro”, which is a kind of strange but famous cartoon character by Shigeru Mizuki. Maybe take some photos with the spooky characters in here. Your kids will love this tea house, for sure.

The main entrance gate (山門) was built with a thatched roof in 1695, and is one of the oldest structures on this mountain. There are many temples on the mountain such as Kaizan-do, Fudo-do, Shaka-do, Enmei Kannon, and Shinjado, the very big stone figure Daikokuten and Ebisu-son, Shouro (Huge Bell Tower) and a very unique water basin also.

The main temple building and other buildings in the area are not flashy, but stately. When I was there, Ganzan Daishi (元三大師) was open to the public for the first time in a two decades. It was a very fortunate opportunity for me to meet this lucky Buddha. What an experience! I feel definitely happy to have met this lucky Buddha! Taking photographs is not allowed.

And one of reasons I visit here is, there is a pet cemetery. Beloved animals that once lived together with you as one of your family members are laid to rest here. And almost always they pass away earlier than us and make us feel sad. Still many people miss them and write sweet messages on wooden tablets. I also said a prayer to my dog resting in peace here. A woman sells handmade indigo dyed items and hand-knitted T-shirts, hats and caps in front of the pet cemetery gate.

Also there is a huge (about four hundred fifty thousand square meters) Botanical Garden Park next to the pet cemetery. You can walk in this wonderful forest and enjoy a 'wood-bath' for just 500yen entrance fee. And you can enjoy many flowers and trees, so if you are a flower lover, this is a must visit. When I was there, it was a little early for this European Style Rose Garden, but you can already see many beautiful and cute rose buds in here and other flowers also. There is an open picnic space with a wonderful dog run on the other side of Jindaiji, too. People can play with their kids and pets and have a lovely picnic in there freely. Isn't it nice?

How to get there

From Shinjuku, take the JR Chuo Line and get off at Kichijouji or Mitaka. Or from Shibuya, take the Keio Inokashira Line and get off at Tsutsujigaoka or Kicjijoji. There are so many buses that go to Jindaiji from all stations. And if you drive your car, take Route 20 (Koushu Kaido) and rely on your car navigation. There are many parking places for 700 yen/day. Or you can park at a soba restaurant where you eat. All soba restaurants have free parking.

Yoshiko Toyama

Yoshiko Toyama @yoshiko.toyama

Basically, I enjoy making short videos. I studied film making at The Persons Art School in New York a long, long time ago. At that time I used 16mm film with a Bolex movie camera. Film was not digitized yet. Nowadays I shoot & edit my videos with very basic equipments, like the Victor Everio a...