garden, architecture, art

Fukagawa Fudo Temple

Fukagawa Fudo-do, located just outside Monzen-Nakacho Station, is the Tokyo branch temple of the Daihonzan Naritasan Shinshoji in Narita City, Chiba. Since the Edo period, it has been popularly known as the ‘Fudo-sama of Fukagawa’.

It is said that the Goma prayer performed at the Fudo-do has the power to purify worldly desires and make them come true. The temple is popular as an energy spot and is crowded with people on weekends when you can touch the ‘Onegai Fudoson’.

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Monzen-Nakacho

The nearest station to Naritasan Fukagawa Fudo-do is Monzen-nakacho Station. When you get off the station, you can get the feeling of the good old downtown area and even notice the faint scent of the incense burning at the temple.

People of all ages; residents, students, and tourists; come and go, and the worship path, called ‘Humanity Fukagawa Benefit Street,’ is full of energy.

History

Fukagawa Fudo Hall was founded in 1703 during the Edo period, when the principal deity of Narita-san was brought to Edo for special viewing. The statue of the deity is said to have been carved by Kobo Daishi himself, and the current principle object of worship at Fukagawa Fudo-do is its incarnation.

The Old Main Hall and the Onegai Fudoson

As you enter the precincts, you will find in front of you the main hall before 2011. The old main hall was destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake and World War II, so the Jizodo of Ryufukuji by the Lake Inba-numa in Chiba was relocated here in 1951. It is now a Registered Cultural Property of Koto Ward, and is said to be the oldest wooden building in the ward.

Enshrined inside is the ‘Onegai Fudoson’. It is one of the largest wooden Fudo statues in Japan, made from a sacred camphor tree that was over 500 years old. On Saturdays and Sundays, people line up to touch the ‘Onegai Fudoson’.

Main Hall

To the left of the old main hall is the eye-catching current main hall. It is the new main hall built as part of the 310th anniversary of the founding of the temple. The outer wall is a ‘Shingon Sanskrit Wall’ wrapped in the mantra of Fudo-sama, making it a space protected by the power of Buddha. Four times a day, a Goma prayer is performed, and the sound of conch and drums echoes around the temple.

The main hall has a long, quiet corridor called the ‘Prayer Corridor,’ which is lined with 10,000 dazzling crystal five-ringed pagodas. Inside each pagoda is a small statue of Fudo, about 10,000 of them in total. The five constituent elements of the universe, earth, water, fire, wind, and sky, are expressed in the form of five-ring pagodas, representing the universe.

It is said that praying while stroking the giant prayer beads on the walls of the ‘Prayer Corridor’ will bring you good fortune.

Inner Buddha Hall and Painting of Dainichi Nyorai in a Lotus Pond

More than 3,000 statues of Dainichi Nyorai are enshrined in the Dainichi Hall of the Inner Buddha Hall, which is located behind the old main hall. One of the largest ceiling paintings in Japan, ‘Dainichi Nyorai in a Lotus Pond’, is painted on the fourth floor ceiling and is open to the public. White and pink lotuses are pictured on both sides, depicting Paradise.

Fukagawa Ryujin

To the left right after entering the temple grounds, is the Fukagawa Ryujin, a famous energy spot. The Ryujin is the god of water and has been worshiped by people involved in agriculture and fisheries.

The popular activity here is making a wish to the Ryujin. If you write your wish on a note and let it dissolve in the water bowl, your wish will reach the Ryujin.

This purification fountain here is equipped with a sensor that reacts when people approach, so that water flows only when people need to use it, an environmentally friendly system.

Kaiun Shusse Inari and Waraji-Mamori

To the right as you enter the precincts of the temple is the all-cypress, cypress-bark-roofed shrine building. It enshrines a branch of the ‘Narita-san Kaiun Shusse Inari’, which sits in the precincts of Naritasan Shinshoji, and is said to be beneficial for good luck. The annual Grand Festival is held on February 15, and the Grand Festival for the anniversary of the foundation is held on September 15.

There is a drum at Kaikun Inari, which you can beat to get the power of business prosperity.

Also on display in the grounds is a large waraji (straw sandal), or the ‘Waraji Mamori Gankake’. This is an amulet to pray for the health of one’s feet and legs. Since many people hang little waraji with their wish written on it, there are always many small waraji on display here.

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Auther:Hiroko Hirachi

Writer for website, magazine, and newspaper. Used to be a newspaperman. Also active as a yoga teacher, teaching at temple.

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