Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine: Discover Japanese Tradition and History Amidst Nature, Including a Mini Mount Fuji!

Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine is located near the Japan National Stadium, a venue for international competitions. Filled with nature and dominated by a large sacred ginkgo tree, its grounds serve as a peaceful retreat for local residents.

The shrine offers many attractions, including the Sendagaya Fujizuka, a replica of Mount Fuji, and the Shōgidō Hall, which houses a large shōgi (Japanese chess) piece called the ōshō (king general).

Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine

Climbing “Mount Fuji” while staying in Tokyo

Mount Fuji is Japan’s most iconic mountain.

While often seen as a tourist destination, it’s also revered in a belief system known as “Mount Fuji faith.” This faith became popular among commoners during the Edo period. Believers built Fujizuka (replicas of Mount Fuji) around Edo (present-day Tokyo) for those who could not climb the actual mountain.

Climbing a Fujizuka is believed to offer the same benefits as climbing Mount Fuji itself.

Sendagaya Fujizuka at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine

Sendagaya Fujizuka

Sendagaya Fujizuka is one of the few remaining Fujizuka in Tokyo. As a replica of Mount Fuji, it features signs indicating positions and routes to the summit.

It takes only a few minutes to reach the top of Sendagaya Fujizuka

It takes less than five minutes to reach the summit of “Mini Fuji”

At the summit, you’ll find Sengen Shrine. Don’t forget to pay your respects. Sendagaya Fujizuka is a place where you can experience climbing “Mount Fuji” and receive its blessings while still in Tokyo.

The summit of Sendagaya Fujizuka is adorned with Mount Fuji’s lava rocks

Lava rocks from Mount Fuji are placed at the summit

Shogido Hall: Praying for success in the game of shogi

In addition to Sendagaya Fujizuka, another unique spot at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine is the Shogido Hall.

In 1986, the Japan Shogi Association dedicated a large 1.2-meter (4 foot) osho piece to Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine, and the Shogido Hall was built the same year to enshrine it.

Shōgidō Hall at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine

A large osho piece is enshrined at Shogido Hall

Every January, a prayer festival is held for Shogido Hall. The shrine also offers shogi-related omamori protective amulets, such as the ōte kachimamori and the ōte mamori, for victory in shogi.

Shogido Hall has become a sacred site for shogi players, with many visitors praying for improved shogi skills.

Majestic main hall and charming souvenirs

The majestic Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine’s main hall was once destroyed in 1945 during the Pacific War. The current shrine building, completed in 1993, is a reconstruction that restores its former appearance, made entirely of zelkova wood.

Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine’s main building

After offering your prayers with two bows, two claps, and one bow, you can visit the shrine office on the left side of the main hall to receive omamori as well as a goshuin (shrine seal).

Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine features several dove-themed items, reflecting the shrine’s name which includes the word hato (dove).

Ema votive tablets at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine

The ema votive tablets where visitors write their wishes also feature doves

One of the most charming items is the hato mikuji (dove fortune). When these omikuji (paper fortune slips) are tied on the mikujikake fortune-tying ropes, it looks like doves huddling together, adding to their cuteness.

Hato mikuji at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine

Hato mikuji

Moreover, Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine offers foreign language omikuji for international visitors. These omikuji are available in five languages: Japanese, English, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.

Hato mikuji at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine

You can receive goshuin from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. If you provide a hatsuhoryō (traditionally the first fruit of the season, but now a monetary offering) of 500 yen, you can have your goshuin book stamped on-site.

Goshuin at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine

Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine also offers a special goshuin for climbing the Fujizuka, called the Sendagaya Fuji Tohai Goshuin. The hatsuhoryō is also 500 yen. Why not collect both types?

The Noh Theater Stage: A glimpse into Japanese history and culture

Within the shrine grounds, there’s a glass-walled building, the nōgakudō (Noh Theater Stage). Here are held performances of the classical Japanese dance-drama Noh, as well as kyōgen, the comic theater form which developed alongside it.

The nogakudo at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine is used for Noh practice several times a week. You might be lucky enough to catch a Noh practice session up close.

During our visit, we observed a practice by Noh performer Manjiro Tatsumi, and our editorial staff was graciously invited to join.

Noh performer Manjiro Tatsumi

Noh performer Manjiro Tatsumi

In addition, Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine hosts the annual Hatonomori Takigi Noh performance, using the nogakudo as the stage. Takigi Noh is a summer night performance of Noh, held outdoors with bonfires illuminating the stage. Check the shrine’s official website for performance information for a chance to experience authentic Noh.

Watching Noh, with its rich background and historical ties, will undoubtedly stimulate your curiosity for Japan and deepen your understanding of it.

Noh performer Manjiro Tatsumi during a lesson

Surrounded by lush greenery, Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine is also recommended for those who wish to connect with nature.

Moreover, Sendagaya Fujizuka, the nogakudo, and Shogido Hall will surely increase your interest and appreciation of Japanese history and culture.

Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine’s sacred tree

Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine’s sacred tree is a large ginkgo that survived the ravages of war

Shrine Information

Name 鳩森八幡神社
Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine
Address 1-1-24 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Access Sendagaya Station 4-minute walk from the Sendagaya Station ticket gate
  • JR Chūō Sōbu Line(JB12)

  • Kokuritsu-kyogijo Station 4-minute walk from Kokuritsu-kyogijo Station Exit A4
    • Toei Ōedo Line(E25)

    • Kita-sando Station 5-minute walk from Kita-sando Station Exit 2
      • Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line(F14)
Phone number 03-3401-1284
Visiting Hours 24 Hours
Sacred Items Available from 9:00 to 17:00
Goshuin Available from 9:00 to 17:00
Omikuji Available from 9:00 to 17:00
Admission fee Free
Official website https://www.hatonomori-shrine.or.jp/
Other information
  • Signboards and pamphlets are available with Japanese and English language; omikuji fortune slips are available with Japanese, English, and Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) language
  • Wheelchair-accessible areas are not available
  • Restrooms are available
  • Bringing in luggage is allowed
  • There are no areas where photography is not allowed
  • There are no areas where you must remove your shoes

※The information in this article is current as of April 2024.