Iriya Station lies on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line in the Iriya area of Taito Ward of Tokyo.


Iriya is a middle-class district of Taito ward, where much of the traditional Edo charm is still intact. The streets are narrow and are lined on both sides with small two or three story wooden houses. People living here mainly have small scale businesses. They run their businesses on the ground floor and live on the upper ones. Iriya also has a few modern apartment buildings.


Among the better known reminders of old Tokyo in Iriya are the Shingen-ji Temple and the Otori Shrine.


Shingen-ji Temple (Iriya no Kishibojin)


Shingen-ji Temple, or Iriya no Kishibojin, was built 1659 by Nichiyu, a Buddhist monk. It is dedicated to Kishibojin, the Buddhist goddess of easy delivery, children and mothers. Shingen-ji Temple became famous during the Meiji period when the temple began celebrating Iriya Asagao-Ichi, or the Morning Glory Fair.


The Morning Glory Fair (Iriya Asagao-Ichi) is held at the temple grounds every July 6, 7, and 8 to coincide with Tanabata. Tanabata (July 7), according to Chinese legend, is the only day when Orihime (the star Vega) and Hikoboshi (the star) Altair, the separated lovers, can cross the Milky Way to see each other. Since it symbolizes the day when wishes come true, people write their wishes on pieces of paper and hang them on bamboo branches.


The Fair originated during the Meiji period after a gardener planted the morning glory in different parts of Iriya. During this fair, which attracts huge numbers of people every year, hundreds of shops selling potted morning glory line the streets of Iriya and the temple grounds. Stalls of foods, drinks, and various knick-knacks are also set up.


Shingen-ji Temple (Iriya no Kishibojin) is located just one minute from Iriya Station.

Otori Shrine


Otori Shrine, located 7 minutes from Iriya Station, is dedicated to the deity of good fortune. The deity has many worshippers who come to the shrine to pray for good fortune and success in business. This shrine is particularly famous for its Tori no Ichi Fair. A lthough there are many Otori shrines in Tokyo and all of them hold this fair, this one in Iriya is particularly famous.


Tori no Ichi Fair is held every November on the days of the rooster. Tori, or the rooster, is one of the twelve animal signs of the zodiac and has its days in November. During the festival, stalls selling kamade rakes are set up on the shrine grounds. These good-luck bamboo rakes, which are decorated with masks and old coins, are supposed to “rake in” good fortune and wealth. People in hundreds visit the shrine during the fair to pray for wealth and success and buy these rakes as lucky charms.


Shotaro Ikenami Memorial Museum


The Shotaro Ikenami Memorial Museum is located an 8 minute walk from Iriya Station. Shotaro Ikenami (1923-1990) was a popular novelist who wrote historical novels set in the Edo period. He was born and raised in Taito and so loved the area very much. The museum is a dedication to Shotaro Ikenami and his works. In the museum are a reproduction of his study with his belongings and an exhibition of his manuscripts and paintings. The museum also houses a library with a good collection of historical novels, published both before and after the war. There is a small museum shop as well where visitors can buy souvenirs related to Ikenami – like his pictures, reproductions of his paintings, calendars and other similar items with Ikenami's pictures.


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