is located in the Oji district of
Kita Ward of Tokyo, and is served
by Tokyo Metro Namboku Line and
JR Keihin Tohoku Line.
Tokyo Metro station is located underground,
whereas the JR station is on elevated
ground above. On ground level is
the Toden Arakawa Line station,
but this is called Oji-ekimae Station.
located in the north of Tokyo on
high ground overlooking Ara River,
was once one of the most beautiful
and scenic places of the area. Ever
since prehistoric times, villagers
grew rice in this area, and to bless
the fields, a shrine for Inari,
the god of rice harvest, was erected
here. This shrine stands here till
today. During the Edo period, cherry
and maple trees were planted on
hilltops and valleys to attract
people from Edo. Soon after the
trees matured and bloomed, Oji became
a favorite of the shoguns for hanami
parties. The shrine also prospered
as more and more people came to
pray here, and within a short period
of time it became the most important
Inari shrine of the Kanto region.
Later during the Meiji period, paper-making
factories were set up in Oji and
the district became known as a paper-making
area. The prosperity of the place
didn't last long, as during the
World War II bombings, much of the
place was destroyed. Today, even
after a lot of reconstruction, Oji
still has a few historical places
and people still flock here to the
many parks to view the cherry blossoms
Shrine, located 5 minutes' walk
from Oji Station, is one of the
most important shrines of Tokyo.
Declared by Emperor Meiji as one
of the “Ten Shrines of Tokyo” in
1868, devotees visit it as part
of a pilgrimage.
Shrine was founded by a warlord
in the 14 th century. It is located
on top of a hill and is reached
on climbing a few stone steps. Upon
climbing the steps, on the left
hand side there is a huge 20-meter
high gingko tree. This tree, said
to have been planted over 650 years
ago, has been designated a natural
monument by the Metropolitan Government
of Tokyo. The shrine building is
located in the middle of a large
well-kept compound. In contrast
to the place and the gingko tree,
the Oji Shrine building is relatively
new, having been reconstructed after
the Second World War.
Shrine is also known for its
or the Rake Fair ,
which is held here every December
6. Kumade is a bamboo ornamental
rake, which is decorated with many
lucky charms. During the festival,
kumades of various sizes and shapes
are displayed and sold. People buy
these rakes to bring them good luck.
As each rake is sold, vendors celebrate
with a handclap.
Inari Shrine is another important
shrine located a short walk from
Oji Shrine. Dedicated to Inari,
the god of rice harvest, it is one
of the oldest shrines of the area.
It is also considered the head Inari
shrine of the eight provinces of
Kanto. The Inari deity Daimyojin
is also said to be enshrined here.
It is believed that on New Year's
Eve, foxes, who are considered to
be the guardians and messengers
of god Inari, gather here from all
over the Kanto region. After being
transformed into court ladies at
the nearby Shozoku Inari, they come
here at Oji Inari Shrine to pray.
gate to the Inari Shrine grounds
is guarded on both sides by a pair
of stone foxes that date back to
1764. Other smaller stone foxes
donated by worshippers and several
stone monuments can be seen all
over the grounds. The main shrine
building was built in 1808 in the
traditional style. The inner sanctum
of the shrine is located at the
back of the building.
annual event of the shrine is the
Oji Fox Parade
that is held each year on New Year's
Eve to honor the foxes that are
said to gather here on the night.
Local residents, dressed in traditional
dress and wearing paper-maché
fox masks, gather at nearby Shozoku
Shrine. From here they parade to
Oji Inari Shrine. On the Oji Inari
Shrine grounds, bonfires are lit
and the participants dance around
it. Food and drink stalls are put
up for the participants and visitors
who gather to watch the parade.
festival held at Oji Inari Shrine
is the Tako Ichi ,
or the Kite Festival .
This annual festival, which dates
back to the Edo period, is held
on February 6 each year. On this
day kites are sold and flown on
the shrine grounds. Kites hold an
important place in Japanese culture
as it is believed that they cut
the wind and stop fires from spreading.
Park is one of the best known
parks of Tokyo, and a major cherry
blossom viewing spot of the city.
Located next to the JR Oji Station,
it has been a recreation area for
the public since the Edo times.
It was opened to the public by Tokugawa
Yoshimune. It was also on his orders
that cherry trees from the Edo Castle
were transplanted into the park.
Every April during the cherry blossom
days, people from all over Tokyo
gather here for hanami parties.
The best part about cherry blossom
viewing at Asukayama Park is that
it lasts much longer than at other
places. This is because here there
are two types of cherry trees, and
their blossoming times are different.
During the cherry viewing festival,
the park is crowded with people.
Special events like dance and music
performances, costume contests,
ukiyoe (printing) exhibitions,
and tea ceremonies are held throughout
the day. Food and drinks are also
are also two monuments at Asukayama
Park – one dedicated to Asukayama
no Hi, which has also been designated
a cultural property by the Tokyo
and the other dedicated to Sakuma
Shozan, the Edo-period scholar.
The park also has fountains, an
outdoor stage, and children's playgrounds
with wading pools.
Park also has three museums on its
grounds – the Shibusaw Memorial
Museum, the Kita City Asukayama
Museum, and the Paper Museum - all
opened in 1998.
Memorial Museum is a “memorial”
to Shibusawa Eichi (1840-1931).
Often called founder of Japan's
modern economy, Shibusawa Eichi
devoted his life to found and encourage
many different businesses of diverse
nature – among them First National
Bank, Imperial Hotel, and Oji Paper.
The Museum is a dedication to his
main building of the museum houses
most of Eichi's possessions. On
the ground floor is a large conference
hall that shows an elaborate film
on Eichi and his achievements. The
other rooms have panels that display
Eichi's letters to different people,
all his business documents, and
several photographs. On reaching
the upper floor, the first thing
that one encounters is a life-size
photograph of Shibusawa Eichi taken
when he was 27 years old. Right
behind this photograph is another
one of Dai-Ichi Bank, established
by him. Attached to this main museum
building is another building called
the Aiisonso. This building was
originally used by Eichi as his
summer villa. Later he shifted there
and made it his permanent residence.
these two buildings is a garden
Shibusawa Garden. This
garden is free and open to the public.
Located in the garden are Bankoro
and Seien Bunko
– two structures that have been
designated I mportant
Historical Facilities by the Tokyo
Metropolitan Government. Bankoro,
built in 1917, was used by Shibusawa
to entertain his guests. Guests
who have been entertained here include
18th U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant,
and Chiang Kai Shek. The other structure,
Seien Bunko, is a
library donated to Shibusawa by
supporters when he was promoted
to baron in 1925.
This structure is best known for
its beautiful stained glass windows.
City Asukayama Museum
Kita Asuayama Museum is
situated right next to Shibusawa
Memorial Museum. This museum offers
everything related to the history,
archeology and folklore of Oji and
all the surrounding areas of Kita.
Divided into 14 themes, the museum
offers almost everything related
to Kita. Prominent among these are
the pit dwellings of the Yayoi Period
(500 BC to 300 AD), storehouses
from the Heian Period (794-1192)
woodblock depictions of the Edo
Period (1603-1867), and World War
II tinted photos. On the third floor
of the museum building is a restaurant
where visitors can have lunch or
snacks. There is also a library
and a study room on the same floor.
is where the first Western-style
paper making was started by Shibusawa
Eichi. It was here that he first
opened his Shoshi Paper factory
in 1873, which later became Oji
Paper Co., Ltd. The Paper
Museum is a dedication to this.
With more than 50,000 items on display,
the museum offers a history of paper
and paper making, including its
many different uses. The museum
also conducts workshops and seminars
on topics related to paper. There
is also a Museum Shop that has a
variety of paper related items on
shinsui Park is another of Tokyo's
top parks. Located right next to
Oji Station, it offers all the original
beauty of Oji. Among the recreated
originals are Gongen-no-Taki
Waterfall (that was once located
near where the park is), and Funakushi
Bridge (originally constructed in
1907 and later destroyed). Cherry
trees and andon-style lanterns throughout
the park add to the beauty of the
place. The poetic charm of the place
has made Otonashi
shinsui Park a favorite among both
adults and children.
Park, located a few minutes
on foot from Oji Station, is still
another of the many parks of the
area. Originally owned by the Nanushi
Hatano Family of Oji Village, it
was opened to the public by the
Tokyo Metropolitan Government after
World War II. The park, with its
artificial waterfalls, ponds full
of goldfish, overhanging maple trees,
and beautiful landscaping, is one
of the most beautiful parks of Tokyo.