Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta.
This time, I took a motorcycle tour to Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine from a friend’s house in Ageo City, Saitama Prefecture. Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine is the largest Hachimangu Shrine in Edo, and is also famous for the Fukagawa Hachiman Festival and the birthplace of sumo wrestling.
I enjoyed a drive of about an hour and a half on my beloved Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide. This time, we will introduce the route to Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine, highlights, parking, etc.
Route to Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine
From Ageo City, Saitama Prefecture to Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine, use National Route 17 and the Shin-Omiya Bypass towards Saitama City, then take the Shuto Expressway Omiya Line.
If you take the Shuto Expressway No. 5 Ikebukuro Line, Toshin Loop Line, No. 6 Mukojima Line, and No. 9 Fukagawa Line and get off at Kiba, you will find Tomioka Hachiman Shrine along Mitsume Dori.
Along the way, be careful of junctions such as Takebashi JCT and Edobashi JCT. The total length of the paid section is approximately 30km.
Highlights of Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine
Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine is the largest Hachimangu shrine in Edo, founded by Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1627 (Kanei 4). Hachiman is the Japanese god of military and shipping, worshiped by samurai and merchants. Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine has been known as the guardian deity of Fukagawa from the Edo period to the present day.
Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine is considered to be the birthplace of sumo, as Kanjin sumo was held here during the Edo period. In the precincts, monuments of Yokozuna wrestlers from the first generation to the present and Ozeki wrestlers are erected. Additionally, in January and May every year, sumo wrestlers enter the ring for dedication.
Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine is also the central shrine for the Fukagawa Hachiman Festival held every August. The Fukagawa Hachiman Festival is one of the three major festivals of Edo, and about 50 gorgeous portable shrines are paraded through the town. On the final day, the impressive sight of the mikoshi being swayed all at once in the shrine grounds is a sight to behold.
Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine is home to the Golden Mikoshi, said to be the largest in Japan. It weighs approximately 4 tons and is decorated with gold leaf and gold powder. This golden mikoshi does not appear at the Fukagawa Hachiman Festival, and can usually be seen in the exhibition hall behind the shrine.
Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine also has Ebisu Shrine, which is dedicated to Ebisu. Ebisu is the god of bountiful harvests and prosperous business, and is depicted holding a sea bream or a fishing rod. At Ebisudo, an Ebisu market is held on the 10th and 20th of every month, where lucky charms such as sea bream and fishing gear are sold.
Additionally, a bronze statue of Ino Tadataka has been erected at Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine. Tadataka Ino was a surveyor during the Edo period and is known for creating maps of Japan. Ino Tadataka once lived near Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine, and it is said that he practiced surveying within the precincts.