Image copyrights belong to authors
Why Hanazono Shrine is special ?
Hanazono Shrine (花園神社) is one of the important Shinto Shrines found in Tokyo. It is located in Shinjuku around a 10 minute walk from the east exit of Shinjuku train station.
Hanazono Shrine was first established in the middle of the 17th century, during the early Edo period. Over the hundreds of years there has been various redevelopments to the current buildings found at the site. A number of fires had destroyed the buildings including sever damage and destruction during World War II.
What to explore at Hanazono Shrine?
With their quiet dignity the grounds of Hanazono Shrine are so peaceful that it is hard to believe that Kabukicho is right next door. As the guardian of the city, the shrine has been watching over Shinjuku from before the start of the Edo period (1603-1868).
Praying at Hanazono Shrine 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 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 shrine set up a stage on the grounds to host plays and dances in order to rebuild the pavilion which had burned down.
Even now plays and live performances are staged in the grounds, and the cult “Freak Show” – rare these days – opens at the Torinoichi festival (famous for open-air stalls selling ‘kumade’ rakes for raking in good fortune, held on the Day of the Rooster in November). The Hanazono Shrine still plays a big role in Tokyo’s cultural heritage right in the middle of the city.
How to get to Hanazono Shrine?
Take an east exit in Shinjuku Train Station. Walk along Yasakuni Dori a few blocks away from Kabukicho and you will find the entrance to the Shrine with the large red Shinto gates on the left hand side of Yasakuni Dori, just before a large set of traffic lights. Check out the Google Map for the location of Nanazono Shrine.
- A peaceful Visit
- Beautiful shrine next to Golden Gai
- Nice little shrine
- Festival street food
- Tranquility amongst the city bustle
Hanazono Shrine 5-17-3 Shinjuku Tokyo 160-0022
Tips for you
Wonderful place. Go there by night, is magic!
The shrine is about a 8 minute walk from the JR Yamanote green line station. It did require us to get directions from the information counter at the station to find the shrine. We actually visited Hanazono Shrine because we wanted to attend the antique market held there every Sunday - however on the day we visited in October, there were only 5 stalls of sellers. It appeared that there was construction going on to build more permanent stalls for sellers. The property is very clean; you can see people cleaning the area. We found their restroom along the shrine - that too is very well maintained. Its a very quiet surreal property - not what I expected in a busy city. They have multiple large trees that offer shade and buffer the street noise