Todoroki Fudo Temple, Todoroki valley and waterfall, a Heian era temple and sacred spot for mountain ascetics in Setagaya, Tokyo

Todoroki Valley

Todoroki Valley (等々力渓谷, todorokikeikoku) is located in Setagaya, Tokyo…in a surprisingly urban setting – although located just by Kanpachi driveway (Tokyo loop driveway 8), but it is rich in nature attracting Tokyo walkers all year around.

The ONLY Valley in the Tokyo Metropolis, it is a pocket of nature and wildlife. The valley stretches for about 1 km with Yazawa river running through it. A number of water springs and streams can be seen in the ravines, but the most famous spot is, of course, the small “Fudo no Taki” waterfall in “Todoroki Fudo” temple. Although some people like to try the water found on the inner park grounds, local hygiene authorities advise the public not to drink the water.

The history of the temple goes back to Heian era centuries ago. The Todoroki Fudo temple’s adjacent waterfall has been used by Shugendo mountain ascetic practices since ancient times, and still serves as a misogi training and meditational spot for the religious. There is the old wooden temple, but also a newer modern Shingon Manganji Temple where religious studies and seminars are carried out.  The temple venerates Dainichi Nyorai, the statue of the deity (not accessible to the public) said to have been carved by Kukai a.k.a. Kobo Daishi himself. There is a statue along of the path of En no Gyoja Fudo, also said to have been made by En no Gyoja himself, and according to the Temple foundation story, Kobo Daishi had a dream in which he was told that the statue of En no Gyoja Fudo which was in Yamato-Nara at the time, had a strong connection with Musashino and so off he went, bearing the statue to Musashino, where he found our said ravine marked by auspicious clouds. There he dug a cave from which burst a stream of waterfall with a roaring sound.

The temple is surrounded by a tree grove, there is a traditional temple garden, a nearby picnic and hanami spot that you can visit as well as an ancient tomb in the valley. The researchers estimate this tomb was build about 1,300 years ago.   The place is a popular spot for Tokyo walkers, especially in the summer.

Twin water falls of “Fudo no Taki”

Todoroki Fudo Temple

Location: 1 Todoroki, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Transportation: 10 minutes walk from “Todoroki” station on Tokyu Oimachi Line; Access map: Details: From Tokyo Station, use JR Keihin Tohoku Line to get to Oimati (15 min.), then the Tokyu Oimachi Line to Todoroki (18 min.). Walk west (3 min.)
Contact: Tamagawa area park administration office 81-(0)3-3704-4972


References and sources:

Practically religious: worldly benefits and the common religion of Japan by Ian Reader, George Joji Tanabe

See terrific photos at the Fairyland blog

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