Home » Omiya Hachimangu – a photographer’s guide

Omiya Hachimangu – a photographer’s guide

Omiya Hachimangu is one of my favorite shrines in Tokyo.  It is in Suginami ward, where I live.  If you wanted to see something “local,” it would be a good choice.  I like to think of it as one of the city’s lesser-known treasures.  There is a lot to see.

Omiya Hachimangu shrine

Being in the suburbs, amongst many trees, the grounds are serene.  And with its beautiful shrine, it’s no wonder so many local people visit it.  You’ll find someone there at all times of the day.  It is rarely crowded.  In my experience, that only happens during festivals.  Probably, the people who spend the longest amount of time there during the day go to the dojo.

Omiya Hachimangu large torii gate

Yes, there is a dojo for kyudo (archery).  The reason for it being there might be because of the shrine’s kami, Hachiman.  Hachiman holds quite a few heavenly portfolios.  One of which is the god of war.  So people practicing martial arts there shouldn’t be any surprise.  Entry isn’t allowed to the dojo (nor is photography), but you can watch the practice sessions from near the door. 


While walking around the grounds, you’ll notice that there are a lot of ema.  Ema are the little wooden plaques on which people write wishes.  There are so many! They all have requests to the god of learning, Sugawara no Michizane, to help them pass exams.  Others will be from expectant mothers asking for aid in giving safe birth. 

Even though the grounds of Omiya Hachimangu aren’t huge, there is enough to enjoy exploring.  The impressive torii (the big gates found at Shinto shrines) make good photographs.  And you can also check out some of the smaller shrines on the grounds, as they are lovely. 

Omiya Hachimangu torii gates

They even have some mikoshi (portable shrines used during festivals) on permanent display.  They are in a special building.  Behind windows, they are easy to see but hard to photograph due to the wire mesh. 

Omiya Hachimangu has many festivals throughout the year.  It is a popular place to celebrate New Year’s Day and shichi-go-san (7-5-3), to name two.  And if you like flowers, it is pretty famous for its annual display of chrysanthemums in November.

Omiya Hachimangu roof

A brief history of Omiya Hachimangu

The shrine is dedicated to the kami Hachiman (god of archery, war, and agriculture).  Established in 1063, its main festival is on September 15.  The emperors Ōjin, Chūai, and Empress Jingū, are enshrined there.

ema votive tablets on rack

Why do photographers like this shrine?

Omiya Hachimangu minor shrine

Photography tips

As already mentioned, photographs of the archers aren’t allowed without permission.

Where is Omiya Hachimangu?

The easiest way to get there is from Nishi-Eifuku station, on the Keio-Inokashira line.  From there it is a walk, about twenty minutes.  Here is a Google map:

Opening hours

The administration office is open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Admission costs

None.

chinowa kuguri at Omiya Hachimangu

What other photo spots are near Omiya Hachimangu?

Wrapping up

If you are a shrine lover, I recommend Omiya Hachimangu. It’s a little far from the station, but it would be a good choice if you want to enjoy something local in Tokyo.  The shrine also has an excellent chrysanthemum exhibit too.  Please leave any questions and comments below.

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