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Tamagawa Daishi

An impressive temple in the suburbs of Tokyo

If you're out in the riverside Tokyo suburb of Futako-Tamagawa, ten or fifteen minutes to the west on the train from Shibuya, then it's worth walking a few minutes away from the huge shopping centre that's the area's main draw.

In a quiet residential area just to the north of the station and shopping centre, there are a handful of ancient temples and shrines, of which Tamagawa Daishi is one of the most impressive.

I came first to a small shrine at the side, with a path through plentiful greenery to a small worship hall, which was pleasant in a low-key way.

Then I came to the main part of the temple, which is home to a population of various, interesting Buddhist statues, small and large, serene and fierce. There's one very imposing statue of a giant pilgrim, his head above the treetops: I didn't measure it, but it must be at least seven or eight metres tall.

Despite this, it's actually a working neighbourhood temple, and I enjoy thinking that people come here or walk past every day and think nothing of it.

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