+japan++tokyo++hon-komagome++honkomagome photo overview+
Ojizosan, the friendly Shinto God of Japan, at Hon Komagome, Tokyo, Japan
HonKomagome Edo temple detail, Tokyo, Japan
On the road to Hon Komagome, Tokyo, Japan
Temple cemetery relief, Hon Komagome, Tokyo, a Golden Winters Tokyo Day
Dai Butsu or Big Buddha statue off Hongo-Dori, Hon Komagome
Big temple off HongoDori, Hon Komagome, Tokyo, Japan
Hongo Dori Streetside Temple or shrine

h o n ... k o m a g o m e

Remnants of Old Edo Tokyo ---- Extending from Yanaka Cemetery and Nezu in the heart of Old Edo (Tokyo), a string of temples can be found along Hongo Dori (Hongo Street). On a beautiful late winter's day (February 27 2005) I took these photos at various temples, between HonKomagome and Komagome proper (on the Yamanote line). The photos feature O-jizo-san in his distinctive red bib, and a DaiButsu (Big Budha) all in green.

As far as the history books say, Komagome was a village on the outskirts of Edo (modern Tokyo) along the Tokaido Road leading to Kyto. As a well as a rest station, Komagome was also one of Edo's three principal vegetable markets, along with Kanda and Senju. Not far from Komagome Station is Rikugi-en, one of Tokyo's most attractive Edo-period gardens, while Sugamo (next stop on the line, famous for its high grandmother population) boasts the silver generation's very own shopping street and a temple with an interesting statue.

Komagome's location on the highway explains the numerous O-jizo-san statues that can be seen at temples and roadsides in the area. Ojizosan is a Japanese god presiding over road safety and safe voyages. People travelling the road would stop at the many temples to pray to Ojizosan for a safe trip. It must have made for slow journeys with all this stopping and praying!

During the Edo Period the greater Komagome area (Somei-mura, now known as Toshima City) was famous for its azaleas. The azaleas blooming at the banks around Komagome Station on the JR Line were planted in 1910 (the 43rd year of the Meiji Period) to commemorate the opening of the station, and when the azaleas are in bloom, they are enjoyed by all those who get on and off at the station, according to Toshima City officials.

[honkomagome -- along Hongo Dori]
tokyo japan 2005

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