Machida City doesn't skimp on its temples and shrines. One of Tokyo's largest municipalities, both in size and population, the almost rural feel of the city sits well with its more urban side with both home to scores of fascinating locations. Here is an introduction to some of the many temples and shrines of Machida and how to reach them.
Aihara Suwa Shrine
Well away from the hustle of the tourist trade in the far western tip of the city lies Aihara Suwa Shrine. Host to scores of festivals throughout the year, the shrine is a bastion of community spirit. Established at the end of the 12th century, the shrine features torii gates, chozuya water ablution wells, and ema votive boards.
An 8-minute walk from Aihara Station on the JR Yokohama Line.
Surrounded by plenty of space and open air, Myofukuji Temple makes its mark in the city with a mid-17th century soshido hall that has been recognised as a Cultural Property of Tokyo. The temple's two-storied bell tower with its distinctive zenshuyo roof design is another standout feature.
A 7-minute drive from Tsurukawa Station on the Odakyu Odawara Line.
Notsuda Yakushi-do Temple
Notsuda Yakushi-do Temple is home to a wooden Nyorai statue that has been designated as a Tangible Cultural Property and a gingko tree that has been listed as one of the city's top 100. The dragon and celestial maiden painting on the main hall ceiling by a painter of the famous Kano school is a must see.
A 29-minute no.53 or 55 bus ride from Machida Station on the Odakyu Odawara Line.
Hard to disappoint, Ono Shrine features a bell tower, elaborately carved stone komainu guardian statues, and impressive dragon wood carvings on its main hall. The raised level of the grounds with staircases, platforms and yearly festivals and celebrations make this shrine a fun one to explore.
An 8-minute drive from Tama Center Station on the Tama Monorail Line.