- 1 Chome-56-10 Ogikubo, Suginami, Tokyo
- Distance from Station:
- 20 minutes on foot from JR/Tokyo Metro Ogikubo Station (South Exit)
Peaceful Pain Relieving Shrine
[published June 2019]
Tabata Shrine is a Shinto shrine in the middle of a quiet rural residential area in south Ogikubo that is very peaceful to walk around. Particularly, cherry blossoms along the approach to the shrine are quite beautiful in the spring. The location is also near Zenpukuji-Gawa Green Park along the river, so if your timing is right you might want to set aside a good part of your day for cherry blossom viewing in this area. You can take a bus to reach this area. Take Kanto bus No.51 from Ogikubo Station (South Exit) bound for Chalet Ru Ogikubo, and get off at Nishi Tabata Bashi. The shrine is about 5 minutes’ walk.
The shrine is said to have been founded between 1394 and 1427. It is also said that the shrine was founded to worship the spirits of a god from Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto. In 1909, some small shrines in this area were combined together, and the name was changed to the present Tabata Shrine.
Now it enshrines four gods, such as Michizane Sugawara and Amaterasu Omikami. The former is known as a patron of study and medicine, and the latter is known as the sun goddess.
In the main building of this shrine, a lot of wooden hammers are exhibited. These were dedicated by worshipers who had recuperated from pains in their knees, legs, feet, and waist. One of the founders of this shrine had had serious pain in his knees, but one night he heard the god’s message in his dream, so the story goes. He was told in the message that he should tap his knees with a wooden hammer made in Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine in Shimane Prefecture. So he had a wooden hammer brought from Izumo and tapped his knees with it. Miraculously, his pain was then gone. As a result of this episode, this shrine became famous as a shrine that would relieve pain. So people who prayed for their health here started donating wooden hammers.
On New Year’s Eve, the shrine is cleaned thoroughly, and at midnight free amazake, sweet sake, is served.