Autumn Leaves in Kuhombutsu – A Guide to the Local District in Tokyo
I visited Kuhombutsu that I’d never been to under the unusual situation in 2020. It’s an autumn leaves spot in Tokyo City and now I have beautiful photos there! I’d like to share the stories and write a practical guide as usual.
Kuhombutsu – Where’s that??
I do NOT think you’ve heard of Kuhombutsu in Tokyo. And your travel guidebook doesn’t spare any space for it, does it?
The answer is here. Kuhombutsu is a VERY local district inside Tokyo City. “Kuhombutsu” originally means a kind of Buddhist statue – it’s a district around big Joshinji Temple.
Talking about what led me to pick up such a place, I was so bored at the household appliance shop while waiting for the shop clerk bringing the warranty document, then grabbed the nearby leaflet “Tokyo Walkers Guide” or something like that, and found Kuhombutsu in the FIRST page of the autumn issue. I thought, “Oh, it’s so beautiful! It must be a hidden gem!” That’s why I decided to go there for autumn leaves this year.
It was a sleepy trip by the local train. Everyone imagines Shibuya Scramble Crossing and skyscrapers when they hear “Tokyo”, but I assure you, it’s just one aspect of Tokyo. When I arrived at Kuhombutsu, it was a small station without any shop inside. It was a quiet place with houses – instead of buildings.
When I went through the temple gate, I thought my idea was right. What a charming place!
The leaflet was right. Autumn leaves were so beautiful there!
About Joshinji Temple
OK, it’s tour time. I’d like to explain about Joshinji Temple.
Joshinji Temple was founded in 1678. The land was originally a samurai castle and the samurai government gave it to the famous priest Kaseki.
Joshinji Temple has some cultural heritages registered by Tokyo City government. This huge ginkgo tree is one of them.
It is more than 300 years old, so the city has been protecting it in recent years.
When I visited there, its yellow maidenhair leaves were almost fallen. But it made the ground so beautiful!
The Buddhist statues are the must-sees, too. Belonging to Jodo sect, they are all brilliantly GOLDEN!
(Taking photos is permitted when a lite is not ongoing.)
They hold a big festival on 5 May once three years. It’s called “omen-kaburi” and local people wear Buddha masks and has a parade on the bridge in the temple garden. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
So Joshinji Temple is a traditional temple and also loved by locals living in the district.
Well, let’s go back to autumn leaves. Although this is not a “tourist spot” at all, it seemed it’s loved by local photographers. I saw an old photographer saying he came there at 8:30!
When I visited there in early December, the red color of maple leaves was so beautiful. I think photos will show it all…
It was a sleepy trip to a very local district. I go to a famous place for autumn leaves in ordinary years, but as you know, this year was not ordinary. So I chose an easygoing trip and I think I was right.
People always imagine silver skyscrapers when they hear “Tokyo”, but there are quiet local districts like Kuhombutsu. And it might be a great destination sometimes. Do you like it?
How to Get to Kuhombutsu Joshinji Temple
First, open the Easiest JR Train Map.
There are 2 ways to go to Kuhimbutsu.
Take Tokyu Toyoko Line to Jiyugaoka Station (10 minites). Walk to Joshinji Temple (15 minutes walk) or change trains into Oimachi Line to Kuhombutsu (the next station).
Take JR Keihin-tohoku Line to Oimachi (the next station) and change trains into Tokyu Oimachi Line to Kuhombutsu (30 minutes). Be careful, the rapid trains SKIP Kuhombutsu Station! If you got a wrong train, just wait for a local train at Jiyugaoka or somewhere.