Shōin-jinja-mae Station is the closest station Shoin-jinja Shrine, where Yoshida Shoin is enshrined. Shoin was a samurai and thinker of the late Edo period who nurtured many important figures of the Meiji Restoration. In front of the station is Shoin Jinja-dori Shotengai, a shopping street that is generating attention as more and more new and unique shops are opened by young people. With fashionable diners, cafés and confectioneries that attract fans from far and wide, and other trendy establishments, the area is rising in terms of both topicality and popularity. Even so, this neighborhood in which Yoshida Shoin rests firmly retains the atmosphere of a traditional and intimate shopping street. Its mixture of the old and new has a comfortable appeal.
This shrine is dedicated to the spirit of Yoshida Shoin. Shoin’s grave can be found here. Also on the grounds is a replica of the Shokasonjuku Academy, which produced many samurai who became key figures at the end of the Edo period, among them Takasugi Shinsaku and Kusaka Genzui. Today, Shoin is worshipped as a deity of learning.
Address: 4-35-1 Wakabayashi, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Shrine gates are open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Access: Three-minute walk from Shōin-jinja-mae Station
This long and narrow park extending in a north-south direction is adjacent to Shoin-jinja Shrine. It has a total area of about 15,000 square meters. With a children’s park equipped with slides and wooden playground equipment and a community of Castanopsis sieboldii, also known as Itajii Chinkapin (a species of evergreen tree considered one of the “hundred famous trees of Setagaya Ward”), that has been chosen as one of the “hundred best views of Setagaya,” the park provides a place for local residents to relax. In autumn many chinquapin nuts fall from the trees. Collecting the nuts is an activity enjoyed by children and adults alike.
Address: 4-34-2 Wakabayashi, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Access: Five-minute walk from Shōin-jinja-mae Station
Held in conjunction with Hagi City (Yamaguchi Prefecture) and Aizuwakamatsu City (Fukushima Prefecture), this two-day autumn festival takes place in the land famously connected to Yoshida Shoin. Its colorful program includes a parade of the key samurai of the late Edo period and their militia. Visitors can enjoy an atmosphere reminiscent of the late Edo and early Meiji periods.
This is a regional event held to publicize Setagaya’s industries. Agricultural products, specialty items from local shops, and many other regional products are presented.
Organized as an annual event each autumn, it provides a good picture of what Setagaya is about. It also turns into quite a lively affair with the gathering of costumed mascot characters representing different areas Setagaya.