Shrines And Temples!? A Shibuya Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Shrines And Temples!? A Shibuya Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Tokyo 2018.03.01

Along Tokyo's Setagaya Line there are peaceful temples and shrines overflowing with nature, making you wonder if you really are in a big city. Today we'll introduce hidden sightseeing spots and suggestions for things to do in Shibuya's suburbs.

Translated by Greg

Written by MATCHA-PR

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The Top Sightseeing Spots Along Tokyo's Setagaya Line!

Shibuya is known as an area loved by the youth. With the Scramble Crossing, the Hachiko Statue outside the station, and shopping complexes that allow you to discover the latest trends, Shibuya is attracting attention from around the world.

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

But did you know that not far from the big city atmosphere of Shibuya, there are many attractive hidden spots known only by the locals? In this article we'll take a short jaunt from this metropolis and introduce some of the highlights along the Tokyu Setagaya Line (referred to as the Setagaya Line from here on).

At the end of the article we'll introduce Shibuya Chikamichi General Information, the perfect place when your base of sightseeing is Shibuya and the Setagaya Line area. Also, right now you have a chance to get a free present at this information center, so please check this out!

What Does the Setagaya Line Offer?

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Photo courtesy of Huber.

The cute two-car trains of the Setagaya Line are used as a means of transport by the local Setagaya Ward residents. Looking like both a regular train and also like a tram car that navigates through the city, this is a unique train line.

With the Setagaya Line, the fare is paid at the time of boarding. In addition to paying by cash, riders can also use a public transport IC card.

We highly recommend the Tokyu One-Day Open Ticket, offering unlimited riding privileges on all of Tokyu's rail lines on the day it's purchased. You can get on board just by presenting the ticket, making this a very convenient option.

This ticket can be purchased at various outlets, including the Shibuya Chikamichi General Information counter.

1. Carrot Tower - An Observation Deck Free of Charge!

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

To use the Setagaya Line, we'll first need to get to Sangenjaya Station, which is only five minutes away from Shibuya Station on the Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line.

Sangenjaya is one of Setagaya Ward's lively and energetic areas, and its appealing feature is that it offers visitors a glimpse into the daily life of Japanese people.

Looming majestically above the station area is Carrot Tower. Considered to be a local landmark, this business complex contains a theater, supermarket, bookstore and various eating establishments.

From the observation deck on Carrot Tower's 26th floor, there's a commanding view of Tokyo and the surrounding area.

If you visit in the daytime, Tokyo spreads out before you with its many homes and clusters of skyscrapers. Here you have a chance to see Tokyo's real landscape: a mix of residential and commercial buildings that co-exist side by side.

And if the weather cooperates, we've been told that it's possible to even see majestic Mount Fuji in the distance!

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Photo courtesy of: Huber

Also, if you drop in during the late afternoon, you can enjoy a stunning view of the city enveloped in a gorgeous sunset. Open from nine-thirty in the morning until eleven in the evening, this observation deck is... yes, free of charge!

2. Setagaya Hachimangu Shrine - A Historic Shrine Surrounded By Lush Greenery!

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Photo courtesy of Huber.

If you take the Setagaya Line from Sangenjaya Station, then ride for about ten minutes and disembark at Miyanosaka Station. You'll arrive at Setagaya Hachimangu Shrine.

This is a magnificent shrine with a history dating back as far as the Heian period (794 - 1185).

This shrine is surrounded by greenery and the precincts are usually quiet and tranquil. One normally doesn't expect to find a shrine blessed with such an abundance of nature only minutes from a major city, so this makes for a memorable spot.

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Photo courtesy of Huber.

In the past, ritual sumo competitions (honozumo, *1) used to be held in the shrine precincts, so even today a dohyo (sumo ring) remains. These days during the autumn harvest festival, members of sumo clubs from a nearby university stage an annual sumo competition.

In most cases, visitors are not allowed to set foot inside an actual sumo dohyo (ring), but here at this shrine's dohyo it's perfectly acceptable (see up and coming sumo wrestlers in the photo above)!

*1 Honozumo: a sumo-wrestling tournament that's held in the precincts of a shrine on its festival day, honoring both Shintoism and Buddhism.

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Photo courtesy of Huber.

Also on one part of the precincts is a shrine dedicated to the same deity as the one enshrined at Hiroshima's Itsukushima Shrine. With a pond, a red torii gate, and a bridge, this is a beautiful sight that is sure to be a delightful surprise for every visitor.

Everywhere inside Setagaya Hachimangu Shrine's precincts, there is something interesting to see, so by all means please enjoy exploring this area!

3. Gotokuji Temple - Beckoning Cats and Much More!

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Photo courtesy of Huber.

After leaving Hachimangu, let's head back to the road we took to get here. If we go back to the area along the Setagaya Line, we can see Gotokuji Temple, located on the opposite side of the railway tracks.

Visitors from both within and outside Japan travel to this temple, hoping to see the many maneki neko, or beckoning cats.

If you pass through the gate, you'll be greeted by the mystical sight of a road lined with pine trees. Some of the pine trees extend as far as thirty meters into the air, and walking under them will give you a brisk, refreshing feeling.

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Photo courtesy of Huber.

If you pass under another gate along the tree-lined road, a majestic three-story wooden pagoda comes into view.

This impressive structure features magnificent detailed carvings and no matter how many times you look at them, one can never get tired of the seeing how sophisticated they are.

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Photo courtesy of Huber.

In one corner of the precincts you can find an area dedicated to countless maneki neko, the main reason why Gotokuji Temple is known around the world. With cat figurines of every shape and size on display, this makes the perfect place for taking a photo to remember your trip by!

4. Sangenjaya at Night - Visit a Japanese Izakaya!

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Photo courtesy of Huber.

After visiting places like Setagaya Hachimangu Shrine and Gotokuji Temple, how about enjoying dinner at a cozy izakaya or one of the many other eating establishments located in the backstreets of Sangenjaya?

There are countless shops lined up close to the station, each offering delicious fare and a warm, friendly atmosphere.

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Photo courtesy of: Huber

If you gather here with your friends to sample delicious local delicacies and tasty sake and other drinks, you'll be able to cap off a completely satisfying and enjoyable day of travel and exploration.

If you'd like to make some new Japanese friends, and be guided around Shibuya and to all the hidden spots known only by the locals, then we highly recommend using the services of Huber Comp., Ltd.

You'll surely be able to find some fun and interesting Japanese friends.

Shibuya Chikamichi General Information - Everything You Need For Your Setagaya Sightseeing!

Shrines And Even Temples!? A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries Right Near Shibuya!

Huber. staff are always waiting and ready to assist you at Shibuya Chikamichi General Information, located along the underground passageway in Shibuya Station.

Drop in and you'll be able to get details on Huber's personal guide tours, and further information on sightseeing spots along the Setagaya Line.

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Diagram showing how to get to Shibuya Chikamichi General Information. Courtesy of Huber.

In addition, here you can purchase the Tokyu One-Day Open Ticket (adults 660 yen, children 330 yen), which allows for unlimited riding privileges along all of Tokyu's railway lines, including the Setagaya Line!

If you have plans to sightsee in Shibuya's suburban areas, then this is definitely one information center worth visiting.

Before Your Sightseeing Get a Free "Hachiko" Notebook!

Shibuya As You Never Knew It - A Tour Filled With Local Discoveries

Also up until April 30th, 2018, at Shibuya Chikamichi General Information, the readers of this article will receive a cute notebook decorated with an illustration of Hachiko! Just drop in, say that you read MATCHA's article and you'll receive your Hachiko notebook.

Shibuya Chikamichi General Information is located next to Shibuya 109, in the underground passageway near Shibuya Station's exit 3A. On your next sightseeing trip in Shibuya please drop in for a visit at this information center!

Sponsored by Huber.

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