The Shingen-ji Temple, also known as the Iriya Kishimojin, is well-known for its spectacular event that takes place in early July – The Iriya Morning-Glory Festival. Despite having a history dating back to 1659, much of what was part of the original has not stood till this day.
The temple grounds are small, and the principal building is relatively new. The primary hall features beautiful wood carvings in striking shades of red that captivate visitors’ attention.
While the temple itself may fail to create lasting memories for most people who visit here. Instead, it’s worth taking some time to learn about the captivating tale enshrined within this goddess’s reverence at this petite temple.
Kishimojin, The Buddhist deity who protects children despite a dark history
Kishimojin is a highly respected figure in Buddhism known for her role as guardian of children. However, her past includes abductions and consumption of innocent youth – leading many to believe she was once possessed by evil.
Legend has it that Gautama Buddha took away Kishimojin’s youngest child to show empathy for parents’ grief and change her ways forevermore. Nowadays, people celebrate Iriya Koshimoji temple among Tokyo’s temples made specifically for honoring this beloved protector goddess.
Iriya Asagao Festival
Iriya Kishimojin is perhaps most famous for hosting the annual Iriya Asagao (Morning Glory) Festival. Taking place in early July, the festival was once one of the three great festivals of Edo, attracting nearly a million visitors in its peak years.
During the festival, the streets leading to the temple are lined with hundreds of vendors selling pots of vibrant morning glories. The celebration also includes food stalls and traditional festival games, making it a significant cultural and social event in Tokyo’s annual festival calendar.
A Quick Note On The Japan Rail Pass Price Hike
The price of the wonderful Japan Rail Pass is going up a massive 62% in October but there’s still time to lock in the old rates if you’re quick. Klook still offers the old prices so if you buy before September 30th you can travel with the old prices until December 28th, 2023.
A Place To Pray For Safe Childbirth
In 1659, Butsuryuzan Shingen-ji (also known as Iriya Kishimojin) was established and as noted, Its history revolves around a malevolent goddess named Kishimojin who consumed children until Buddha intervened by hiding her youngest child which resulted in a profound transformation within her spirit.
Today, she is celebrated as the patroness and protector of safe childbirth and many expectant mothers and families come here to pray.
Iriya Kishimojin, also known as Shingen-ji Temple, is located in the Taito ward of Tokyo, Japan. Here’s how you can reach it:
The easiest way to reach Iriya Kishimojin is by taking a train to the Iriya Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line.
- Exit Iriya Station from Exit 4.
- After exiting, turn right and walk straight along Kototoi-dori Street.
- Turn right at the first corner and continue straight.
- Take the first left turn and you should see Shingen-ji Temple, home to Iriya Kishimojin, right in front of you.
The walk from the Iriya Station to the temple should take about 3 minutes.