Overview: The Zenpukuji River (善福寺川) Jinja Walk
The Zenpukuji River Green Park is one Tōkyō's well-known cherry viewing spots, but almost unknown as a Jinja Walk. The rear of the the Ōmiya Hachiman-Gū abuts the river and following the river north from there for about 600 metres through the Wadabori Park, there are a number of footpaths to choose from, brings one to the Seiso-shirayama Jinja, which is about 100 metres outside the park. Returning to the river, a walk of a little less than two kms brings one to the Ozaki-kumano Jinja. This essentially brings the river/path walk to an end. A further 600 metres to the north, which takes one well beyond the boundaries of park, is the Seiso-suga Jinja: from there it is about 500 metres to Minam-asagaya Station on the Marunouchi Line.
As with the Konnō Hachiman-Gū, the Ōmiya Hachiman-Gū was founded in the aftermath of the successful Minamoto military campaigns in northern Honshū. The shrine’s home page tells us that it was founded in 1063 by Minamoto Yoriyoshi to fulfil a pledge he had made some years before when setting out on the Zenkunen-no-eki (lit. "Early Nine Years' War," 前九年の役) military campaign in Ōshū Province at the command of the 70th Emperor, Go-Reizei. As his army was approaching the Ōmiya area, an eight-streaked white cloud appeared in the sky above
(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names
refer to position in How Many Kami table)
Emperor Ōjin 応神天王
Emperor Chūai 仲哀天王
Empress Jingū 神功皇后
From Merged Shrines
Wakamiya Hachiman Jinja 若宮八幡神社
Tamashimizu Yashiro 多摩清水社
Inari Jinja 稲荷神社
Shirayama Jinja 白山神社
Earliest mention of: 1063
Annual Festival: September 15
and hovering over the army looked just like Yoriyoshi’s whitebattle flag fluttering in the breeze. Immediately interpreting this as a sign that the kami were protecting him he vowed to build a shrine on the spot if he returned as a victor. The fortunes of war did indeed smile on him, and on his triumphal return in 1063 he fulfilled his vow by building a shrine in which Hachiman, the deity of the Iwashimizu Hachiman-gū, one of the 22 Shrines, was enshrined via the bunrei process. Later, his son, Minamoto Yoshiie, who founded the Konnō Hachiman-Gū, renovated the main hall of the Ōmiya Hachiman-Gū and in addition planted 1,000 pine seedlings in the shrine grounds. During the wars of the Tenbun Period (1532-1554), the shrine was destroyed by fire and in 1591 received an annual subvention of 30 koku from Tokugawa Ieyasu. At its peak during the Edo Period the shrine sat on some 198,000 sq.m. of land: although the land area is now one quarter of this amount it is still the third largest in Tōkyō (the largest is Meiji Jingu, 700,000 sq.m., second, with 100,000 sq.m., is Yasukuni Jinja). In 1875 it was given the rank of gosha. In 1965, the 900th anniversary of the shrine’s foundation, the main hall was rebuilt entirely of Japanese cypress.
Seven minutes on foot from Nishi-eifuku Station. As well as being one of the Eight Edo Hachiman-Gū it is also one of the Three Musahi Province Ōmiya.The spacious grounds mean that there is a lot to see in this shrine, including a bamboo grove, and it is well worth a visit. Combine it with the Zenpukuji River Jinja walk and a most enjoyable and rewarding few hours can be had.