Do you ever feel like you don’t know what to do when you’re faced with a little free time? That was our situation this weekend especially since we woke up to pouring rain. After a little research, I remembered reading this article and wanting to visit Jindai Motomachi. A chance for a quiet little stroll not far from Tokyo? Why not.
We jumped on the Keio Line to Chofu Station (grabbing some fresh edamame and chestnut daifuku on the way), and after a short bus ride (No. 34 takes you straight to Jindai Temple and back to Chofu Station), the scenery transformed into ancient Japan. Jindai Temple is the second oldest in Tokyo, and the atmosphere reminded me of a mini Hida-Takayama or Kyoto without the crowds. If you’re traveling within Tokyo and can’t make it to more ‘traditional’ Japanese destinations, this is definitely a great place to visit.
Lining the streets to the temple are a bunch of traditional omiyage shops, tea shops, and soba restaurants. The whole area was tranquil, relaxing, and peaceful with trees surrounding little ponds and bridges and fresh air! It lacks the vapid commercialism and crowds of many other places in Tokyo.
The temples are also very nice, and the grounds were surprisingly large. In my opinion, it rivals Nikko. There is a botanical gardens behind the temple, but we didn’t make it there before it closed at 4pm. If you do visit Jindaiji, bring some bug spray especially during the summer mosquito season.
If you have time, it’s nice to stroll outside the temple. There’s a lot of nice restaurants and coffee shops in the surrounding areas that look and feel very traditional. People are friendly, and it would be a great place to bring a book and relax for the day.