Walk along Marunouchi Line: Get a Taste of Nakano’s Food & History-part1
This is Austin from the US, living in Japan for about 3 years.
I just visited the south area of Nakano City.
I walked from Nakano Sakaue Station to Nakano Fujimicho Station and found wonderful temples, delicious souvenir shops, and so much more!
Hosenji – One of Nakano’s Largest Temples
I arrived at Nakano Sakaue Station and started my exciting experience in Nakano! I have never been to Nakano before and wasn’t really sure what to expect. I had a really nice time. The first spot on my ‘must see’ list was Hosenji Temple.
Hosenji is a temple with a long history. This temple is believed to have been built between 1087 ~1094.
I entered the temple grounds through a big gate guarded by two Nio statues.
I was very surprised by how peaceful temple grounds felt. There was a three-story pagoda that looked beautiful thanks in part to the sun’s rays.
It was next to two trees and a pile of old stones in the middle. I love visiting Japanese temples, but this was something I had never seen before. I wonder what it means. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a monk around to ask…
I did my own research and found out that the pile of old stones is called “Ishiusuzuka”.Back in the day, the production of “buckwheat flour” using a water mill and stone mill was popular in this area. But after modernization, those stone mortars became obsolete. When the priest of Hosenji at the time saw the abandoned stones, he felt great sorrow and collected the stones to memorialize them.
★Find out more about Hosenji here
Yamamasa Shoyu Jozojo no Rengahei(brick wall of a soy sauce factory)
The next spot I found was very peculiar. This place is called Yamamasa Shoyu Jozojo no Rengahei. Apparently, this brick wall was the remains of a soy sauce factory that existed over 100 years ago. During demolition, they moved one part of the brick wall to this park for historical purposes. It looked really out of place, but that’s what I liked about it. It was a cool mini-sight！
★Find out more about Rengahei here
Abumata Miso – A Traditional Flavor of Japan
The Abumata Miso shop was definitely the best part of my experience in Nakano! It’s a family-owned store that has been producing high-quality miso since 1885! The staff was so friendly and explained a lot about the history and culture of miso. I was most intrigued to hear that in the modern age, Japanese people were consuming less miso than before, choosing bread or rice balls instead; whereas, people outside of Japan were starting to enjoy miso themselves! I sampled their miso and it was so sweet and delicious, I had to get a picture! I’m definitely coming back!
★Find out more about Abumata miso here
My name is Austin and I’m from California, USA. I am a traveler, teacher, and devoted appreciator of Japanese karaage. I enjoy visiting new places, and learning Japanese. I’ve been in Japan for three years and I am always on the lookout for the next amazing place to visit. Since the whole country is essentially a UNESCO world heritage site, I’m sure I’ll be busy for a very long time!