Shinjuku 12-so Kumano-Jinja Shrine
Among the high-rise buildings that symbolize the Fukutoshin area rests the quiet Shinjuku 12-so Kumano-Jinja Shrine. Around the year 1400 of the Muromachi period, Kurou Suzuki -- a family member who acted as a priest of Kumano Miyama -- is said to have built the shrine in order to worship the Jyunisho-gongen, who was the god of his own birth place.
The entrance is at the end of Shinjuku Central Park and the Otorii Gate welcomes you. The main shrine is on the way to the Otorii Gate, and it feels calm and peaceful, even in the middle of the bustling city.
Behind the main shrine is a skyscraper, which may strike you as odd, but this kind of contrast can only be seen in large cities like Tokyo, where history, tradition and modernity are mixed.
The shrine gets the busiest during the annual festivals held every September. As a guardian of one of Japan's most popular shopping districts, Shinjuku, the sight of a mikoshi shingo or a portable shrine being carried by the shrine’s followers through the streets feels like a poem in the summer heat.
With Kumano Sanzan on top, there are about 3,000 Kumano Shrines across the country, just like the one in Shinjuku.
The involvement of the Kishu people in the shrine’s history is also well known. Here is an interesting fact: in the Kishu area of Hainan city in Wakayama prefecture, there are many people with the family name "Suzuki." Because there are so many Suzukis, it is actually the most common surname in Japan and it has its roots in the Kumano Shrine.
2-11-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
[Worship time] Can be visited 24 hours
[Shrine office] 9:00-17:00
Open year round
A 4-minute walk from Toei Oedo Line Nishi-Shinjuku Go-chome Station
※The written notice and information on this page are as of the date of publication. Please refer or confirm the latest information of each spot on individual introduced website.