The astonishing vermillion Hanazono-jinja Shrine houses the guardian deity of Shinjuku.
As guardian of the city, the shrine has been watching over Shinjuku since even before Tokugawa Ieyasu came to Edo in 1590.
The shrine is a popular tourist spot, and is well-loved by locals who use it to escape from the bustle of Shinjuku and relax.
The grounds of the shrine are so peaceful that it is hard to believe that Kabuki-cho is right next door.
Praying at Hanazono-jinja is believed to bring prosperity in business and the shrine is also famous for its deep connection with entertainment.
Going through the main shrine gate you can see one of its sub-altars, the Geino Asama-jinja Shrine, on the right.
The names of many performers and entertainers who have worshipped at the shrine hang on boards around it.
Its connection with entertainment began in the Edo Period when the Hanazono-jinja set up a stage on the grounds to host plays and dances in order to rebuild the pavilion which had burned down.
The Aozora-Kotto-ichi, an antique flea market, is held here every Sunday (canceled in case of bad weather).
In November, you can visit the Tori-no-ichi market, where stalls selling "Kumade" rakes (to businesses, in order to "rake in" good fortune) and even a freak show can be found.
- Open 24 hours
- No closing days
Access / Public Transport
- 7 minutes walk from Shinjuku Station on the JR lines, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line (M08), Toei Oedo Line (E27), Toei Shinjuku Line (S01), Keio Line (KO01), or Odakyu Odawara Line
- 3 minutes walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line (M09), Fukutoshin Line (F13) or Toei Shinjuku Line (S02)