Takahata Fudo-son and the Chrysanthemum Festival
Takahata Fudo-son has a big presence in Hino, and not just because its five-storied pagoda is visible from far outside the temple grounds! This large Buddhist temple is one of the three great Fudo temples in the Kanto region. Takahata Fudo-son has weathered disasters, relocations, and rebuilding since its founding, which is thought to have been around 1,100 years ago during Japan’s Heian period. With 24 acres of lands and roughly a millennium’s worth of history, the temple was accumulated and preserved important artifacts of classical and feudal Japan.
You can take a look at the temple’s collection in its various halls, which house ancient items like a 1273 waniguchi (a type of Japanese bell that resembles a gong) as well as more recent additions like Hijikata Toshizo’s memorial tablet.
One of the temple’s most important treasures is the wooden Heian-era Fudo statue portrayed above. Fudo, which means “immovable,” is the Japanese name for the Wisdom King Acala, a deity revered in Buddhist religions such as Takahata Fudo-son’s Shingon Buddhism. Though Fudo is portrayed with a scary face, his anger is meant to represent the compassionate sternness of a parent scolding a child. Likewise, the sword in his right hand actually symbolizes wisdom.
Takahata Fudo-son doesn’t just preserve artifacts; it also carries on traditions. Regardless of your religion, visitors are welcome to observe the daily goma ritual. During the ritual, priests gather to chant prayers to Fudo. After some preliminary prayer, a priest lights a fire in front of a large statue of the deity. Amongst drumming and chanting, the priest ceremonially burns offerings of aromatic plants and seeds. As the fire flickers, observers are welcomed to approach the statue and pray individually after having their hands purified by a priest with a dash of scented powder. At the end of the goma ritual, the fire is extinguished and the priest who led the ceremony explains the prayer.
In addition to its religious functions, Takahata Fudo-son also hosts a wide variety of seasonal events, such as the currently ongoing Chrysanthemum Festival. This three-week-long festival is a relaxed event centered around one of Japan’s most treasured flowers. As you may remember from the Hino Note on the Cosmos Avenue, chrysanthemums are symbolic of Japan’s emperor and are also Hino’s city flower. In Japanese, the name “kiku (chrysanthemum)” applies to a broader variety of flowers than in English, so this is a great chance to see all kinds of chrysanthemums.
Gardening enthusiasts from Hino and our neighboring cities come together to put chrysanthemums of all colors and sizes on display. When I say “all sizes,” I mean it – some of them were even taller than me! You can visit Takahata Fudo-son any time this fall between October 28th and November 17th to see the rows and rows of flowers adorning the temple grounds. The Chrysanthemum Festival isn’t the only event Takahata Fudo-son has planned for the month, though. They’ll be kicking off their annual Momiji Festival on the 18th to celebrate the colorful autumn leaves throughout the rest of November.
No matter when you visit, grab a map of the temple and try taking a stroll along one of the interconnected hiking trails winding their way through the woods. The trees keep the path well-shaded and alive with bird calls, which makes for a very pleasant walk. If you follow the trail up to the top of the hills, you can get an amazing view of Hino from the observation platform. This would be a great spot for a commemorative photo!
- 733 Takahata, Hino-shi, Tokyo
- Takahata Fudo-son is around a five-minute walk from Takahata Fudo Station.
- Maps of the Takahata Fudo-son grounds are available throughout the temple.
- Weekdays: 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm
- Weekends and holidays: 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:00 pm
On the 1st and 15th of each month:
- Weekdays: 5:00 am, 10:00 am, and 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm
- Weekends/Holidays: 5:00 am, 10:00 am, and 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:00 pm
On the 28th of each month:
- 5:00 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:00 pm
The temple itself is open all day.
Questions about this page? Let us know
Industry and Sports Department, City Promotion Division
Phone (Direct Line): 042-514-8098
Phone (City Hall): 042-585-1111
Address: Hino City Hall, 3th Floor
1-12-1 Shinmei, Hino, Tokyo 191-8686
Contact the City Promotion Division through our online contact form