Jindai-ji: An Escape from the City

8 03 2009

Out in Chofu, a suburb of Tokyo, is a quiet sanctuary at Jindai-ji, the second oldest temple in Tokyo.  Stroll through the quiet cobble-stoned lanes and watch the fresh soba being made on site.  Then you can sit and enjoy the noodles and Jindai-ji beer at one of the many restaurants at the Temple.

It’s possible to spend an entire day here.  After walking around the grounds and eating lunch, check out the botanical gardens right next to the grounds.  The garden always has something in bloom, and it is perfect for avid photographers (or for people who like to watch avid photographers).

Jindai-ji

Jindai-ji

bell

water

bell

Many locals will stand in line for hours on New Years Eve to ring this bell.  On this particular day, the grounds were being prepared for the Daruma Festival, or Daruma ichi, which is held every March 3 and 4.  Daruma are red dolls with round blank eyes.  For luck, you color in one eye at the beginning of the year and focus on a goal.  If you accomlish your goal by the end of the year, you color in the second eye.

making soba

Freshly-made soba on site.

soba shop

soba

beer

This soba is perfect: fresh, filling, and tasty.  Get a side of tempura or duck soup if the noodles aren’t enough variety.  The beer is a lager, but a good one that brings out the fresh, natural waters it is made from.

Jindai street

bridge

Jindai

The Botanical Garden, run by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, has extensive grounds to explore–we only made it as far as the peach/ume grove and wished we had time to explore the rest of the garden.

Jindaiji map

ume garden

amazake

This makeshift amazake stand was selling the seasonal hot drink made from fermented rice.

ume

bamboo

bamboo

witch hazel

photographers

trees

Take a look at this map to discover the other flora and fauna in the gardens:

Jindai mapJindai info.

Getting to Jindai-ji is easy.  Take the Chuo-line to Kichijoji or Mitaka and take a bus to either the garden or the temple.  From Shinjuku, the trip would take about one hour.

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3 responses

8 03 2009
WeezerMonkey

Mmm, fresh soba! Lovely photos. 🙂

22 09 2009
V*

cant wait to go!

22 09 2009
exploreandeat

I can’t wait for you to go! My old ‘hood.

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