Join us on this private off-the-beaten-track tour for an introduction to the two main religions of Japan.
To kick things off, we will start at the very active Fudo-do Temple. With the stunning temple grounds as our backdrop, we’ll learn how Shintoism and Buddhism, Japan’s two primary religions, coexist. We’ll discover the differences between the two and how they represent the whole spectrum of life.
We’ll watch a unique Buddhist ceremony known as a Goma ritual, held in the main temple hall. The ceremony involves burning a special kind of firewood as an offering to the principal deity, Fudo Myou.
When the ceremony ends, you’ll have a bit of time to explore the other floors of the temple, such as the trippy prayer corridor with 9500 miniature crystal statues. Talking is not allowed inside, so your guide will explain a bit beforehand about some of the things you can expect to see, and will answer any questions you have when we leave the temple.
From Fudo-do, we’ll stroll over to Hachiman Shrine, which is best known for its close ties to the sumo world. The shrine is said to be the birthplace of Kanjin-zumō (founded in 1684) and the origin of current, professional sumo. The grounds are adorned with sumo-related stone monuments, and when a sumo wrestler reaches the highest rank, known as yokozuna, there is a dedication ceremony done at the shrine.
Our last stop will be Kiyosumi to admire a traditional Japanese stroll garden. There has been a garden of some form here since the early 18th century but it was Iwasaki Yataro, the founder of Mitsubishi, who shaped it into the tranquil spot we know today. Yataro rebuilt the gardens for the pleasure and enjoyment of his employees and as a place to entertain important guests.
At the end of your private tour, we can leave you to explore the rest of the gardens or we’d be happy to walk you back to the train station. Before you go, don’t forget to ask your local guide for hints and tips on where else to visit during your stay in Tokyo.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, transportation by subway to Kiyosumi Garden, entrance fee to the garden, one charm or amulet souvenir.
Exclusions: Food and drinks, souvenirs and items of a personal nature, tips/gratuities for your guide.
Dress standard: We advise that you dress modestly, with shoulders covered, as we will be visiting a temple and shrine. You will have to take off your shoes before entering the temple building, so we also recommend bringing a clean pair of socks.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Additional Information: This tour includes a 30-minute ritual at the temple, which should be attended in whole. Note that this is a proper ritual which the general public takes part in, and talking and any other forms of disruption are frowned upon. Please also note that we cannot guarantee seating for the ritual. You will have to take off your shoes before entering the temple building, so we recommend bringing a clean pair of socks. As this tour starts during the height of morning rush hour, we recommend you give yourself extra time for getting to the start point.
Child Policy: Children under the age of 6 are not permitted to join this tour. For children above that age, please count them as an adult.