Monzen-nakacho Station lies on the Tokyo Metro Tozai and Toei Oedo Subway Lines in the Monzen-nakacho neighborhood of Fukagawa district of Koto Ward on the eastern side of the Sumida River.

Monzen-nakacho is a small neighborhood but well known for its shrine and temple - Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine and Fukagawa Fudoson Temple.

Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine

Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine is situated just 3 minutes walk from Monzen-nakacho Station on the Tozai subway line. It is the biggest shrine dedicated to Hachiman, the Shinto god of war, in Tokyo. Built in 1627 by a prince of Kyoto when he enshrined a statue of Hachiman here, it didn't take long for it to become a major shrine in Edo's shitamachi , or downtown. One of the prides of the shrine is its 4-ton "ichi-no-miya" mikoshi, the biggest "mikoshi" in the Kanto region. It is decorated with diamonds, rubies and saphires, and costs one billion yen. Because of its weight and value, this mikoshi is not carried during the festival.

The shrine is also famous for having served as the site of sumo tournaments for a century starting in 1684, before it was moved to Ryogoku in 1791. Although the shrine no longer hosts sumo tournaments, it continues to maintain close ties to sumo. There are still several sumo stables around the shrine, and the shrine precincts contain monuments celebrating famous yokozuna (the top rank in sumo) and ozeki (the second-highest rank) from the past. The Yokozuna Monument (Yokozuna Rikishi-hi) consists of a few large slabs of stone inscribed with the ring name, hometown, and yokozuna promotion date of each yokozuna grand champion. The Ozeki Monument (Ozeki Rikishi-hi) consists of a few stone slabs inscribed with over 100 names of Ozeki champions. One stone slab has hand prints and foot prints of sumo wrestlers.

The Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine is also famous for its annual festival.

Fukagawa Hachiman Matsuri

Fukagawa Hachiman Matsuri is one of Tokyo's Big Three Festivals along with Sanno Matsuri of Akasaka Hie Jinja Shrine and Kanda Matsuri of Kanda Myojin Shrine. The festival is held once every three years in mid-August and attracts over half a million spectators. The celebrations include the carrying of 55 "mikoshi" (portable shrines), representing all of Fukagawa's districts, on the main avenue "Eitai Dori". As the procession proceeds, spectators happily throw water on the mikoshi carriers to refresh them of the heat of summer. This tradition of throwing water has given the Festival the nickname of Mizukake Matsuri, meaning “pouring water festival”. Dozens of food stalls are set up on both sides of the road that sell traditional foods and sweets.

Fukagawa Fudoson

Another significant attraction of the area located close to Monzen-nakacho Station is the Fukagawa Fudoson. Fukagawa Fudoson is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. Better known as the traffic temple (where one prays for road safety), it was first built in 1703 in gratitude of the prosperity that accompanied the Edo period. It was later moved to its present location in Fukagawa in 1881. The temple's wooden structure is said to be the oldest in Koto and its interiors are decorated lavishly. Every year on May 1, a dramatic ritual takes place featuring drumming teams performing in the temple forecourt.

Flea Market

A Flea Market is held in the area between Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine and Fukagawa Fudoson every 1st, 15th and 28th of each month. This very popular flea market is a great crowd puller that attracts people coming from distant areas.


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