Always Loved by Locals─Shibuya Hikawa Shrine (Tokyo)
essay, Jul. 2019
It was raining softly when I visited Shibuya Hikawa Shrine. It’s located in Hiroo, which is one of the most popular─and thus expensive─areas to live in within Tokyo.
If you walk there, you can find many good and refined restaurants and cafes. But still quiet and residential, and it’s also one of the areas where many foreigners live since there are many foreign embassies.
For me, who lives in East Tokyo full of local atmospheres and old buildings, Hiroo is kind of snobbish, but Shibuya Hikawa Shrine is different from the neighborhood.
It was built so long ago─that it’s too old for anyone to know when it was built─and long before the neighborhood. As the neighborhood has changed and developed, it seems Shibuya Hikawa Shrine has never seemed to change.
Besides me, there were no other visitors, so I was surrounded by the quiet, peaceful atmosphere. I’ve collected the stamps of shrines since last year, so I asked for the one. An old woman appeared, sat in front of the desk and rubbed the Chinese ink stone for writing.
Then she wrote the name of the shrine very carefully. Some shrines just prepare the copies or write names very quickly, but she took a lot of time and seemed very eager to write. Her handwriting was very beautiful, and I was so pleased when she gave the stamp notebook back to me with a warm smile.
She seemed to be a priest’s daughter of Shibuya Hikawa Shrine. It was a small shrine and I didn’t see any other staff, so I thought they all ran the shrine on their own. Not refined nor gorgeous, never touristic, but very cozy and warm. Loved by locals, Shibuya Hikawa Shrine still remains what it was from the beginning.
To Shibuya Hikawa Shrine from Shibuya:
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Hiroo shopping street, in front of Hiroo station, is a mixture of local shops and new, trendy restaurants, such as pancakes, doughnut, coffee, etc.
From the shrine:
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Work for kimono company. Love skin care, fashion and bread. Mother of 3 children.
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