Jindaiji Temple: Quiet Haven from Tokyo

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.

Jindaiji Temple - A statue sitting outside of the original soba restaurant of the area

Bridge over a pond outside of Jindaiji Temple

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.

Jindaiji Entrance from the Botanical Gardens

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. Steaming fresh desserts outside of Jindaiji TempleJindaiji Motomachi - Little Vendors surrounding the temple

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.

Entrance to Jindaiji Temple

Main Temple of Jindaiji

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.

One of the quiet backroads behind Jindaiji Temple, towards the Botanical Gardens

Traditional Japanese Tea Shop near Jindaiji Temple

14 thoughts on “Jindaiji Temple: Quiet Haven from Tokyo

    • Oh no kidding! What a coinkidink! My husband and I were wondering what it would be like to live there – it’s so serene and relaxing. It must be nice! Haha I’ll give you a heads up when I head there next time so we can look out for each other!

    • I think temples and churches are meant to be enjoyed without crowds. It’s much less enjoyable when you’re herded through like cattle! We’re not usually so lucky in Japan either though :)

  1. Pingback: Yusuian: Soba at Jindaiji « oh my omiyage

  2. Oh, that’s gorgwous! , I will be in Japan in spring and I think I will definitely have to go here! Could you tell me where one catches the bus at Chofu station and how long it takes?

    • Oh you should definitely visit there! It should be spectacular in the spring. My guess is there are lots of cherry blossoms! From Chofu Station north exit, take the #14 bus and get off at Jindaiji Shokubutsu Kōen Mae stop. It takes about 10 minutes. It’ll drop you off right in front of the main street! Let me know if I can help you more :)

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