Skip to main content

Home > Fuchu city & Kokubunji city Course > Okunitama-jinja Honden (main hall of Okunitama shrine)

Recommendation course

Fuchu city & Kokubunji city Course

Let's Stroll around Fuchu!

Kokucho (or Kokuga) had a local governmental headquarters equivalent to the current Metropolitan office or prefectural office, working Kokushi (provincial governors) were sent to the appointed province. Kokufu means cities developed around the Kokuga and related organization.

The name of Fuchu, which means "the center of Kokufu", comes from the place of the Provincial center.

According to the historical examples from other parts in Japan, it is thought that the Provincial Government Office was established at the beginning of the 8th century when the national capital was transferred to Heijo, while the establishment of the Provincial center is thought to have been dated back around the end of the 7th century. The Provincial center had been reduced their political power under the Ritsuryo codes by the latter half of the 10th century, but the Fuchu area had carried on with the role of the political center throughout from the Ancient period to the Medieval period.

In Medieval period, Musashi Sosha Shrine (also called Rokusho-gu) which was predecessor of Okunitama Jinja Shrine (named after the Meiji period) was constructed in the Provincial Government Office (Kokuga) area. At that time, Fuchu area flourished as a town of where Rokusho-gu Shrine, but it was also important as transportation hub and strategic site which you can overlook the Tama-gawa River. Bubaigawara which is located below Fuchu Cliffs where battles were took place in 1333, and Koanji Temple which is located on the cliffs, troops such as the Kamakura shogunate's often camped.

In the Pre-modern period, in the year when Tokugawa Ieyasu entered Edo, Fuchu Goten (Fuchu Palace) was built as an accommodation for Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Ieyasu also made a respectful guardian for Rokusho-gu. Fuchu area prospered as a post-station town on the Koshokaid. Road and its townscape has been flourished up to now.


Taking a Walk in Okunitama Jinja Shrine


Okunitama Jinja Shrine


Kurayami matsuri Festival

In the chronicle of Okunitama Jinja Shrine, it is described in its own records as it was erected on May 5, the 41st year of the Keiko Emperor(111), and each generation of territorial governors had served for it. When Musashi Kokufu (provincial city) was set in this area at the early Nara period, Okunitama Jinja Shrine was appointed to be a Soja (shrine enshrining several god) has collected 6 gods of local shrines and enshrined them together, which were the shrines of Ono Jinja Shrine (Ichinomiya, Tama City), Ninomiya Jinja Shrine (Ninomiya, Akiruno City), Hikawa Jinja Shrine(Takahana-cho, Omiya City, Saitama City), Chichibu Jinja Shrine (Banba-cho, Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture), Kanasana Jinja Shrine(Ninomiya, Kanagawa-cho, Saitama Prefecture) and Sugiyama Jinja Shrine(Hassaku-cho, Midori Ward, Yokohama City). It is noted in the history book "Azuma Kagami" that the Rokusho-gu Shrine was counted as one of the 10 shrines in Kanto region, where Hojo Masako, who was the wife of Minamoto-no Yoritomo, a Kamakura shogun prayed for safe childbirth. Thus, it has earned faith from the people in Musashi territory since old times. In Edo period, the Tokugawa government contributed an area of 500 koku to the shrine. Buildings of the shrine were reformed or built several times. It was renamed to Okunitama in 1871.

Kurayami-matsuri Festival is Reitaisai (regular rites and festival) held on for a golden week in May, fests the rituals and the entertainments. The festival reaches its climax, when 8 portable shrines proceed lead by 6 huge Japanese drums in the evening of May 5th. It is a worthy festival that retains firm the tradition from the Middle Ages. The festival is designated as an intangible property of Tokyo.

1 Okunitama Jinja Honden
(Main Hall of Okunitama Jinja Shrine)

Tangible Cultural Properties of Tokyo (Buildings)
Designated on March 31, 1962

Main Hall of Okunitama Jinja Shrine

Okunitama no Okami and others are enshrined in the main hall at the center, and three shrines each are installed together in the east and west halls. In the past, each shrine seems to have had own hall, as the old map in 1606 shows.

Almost all the buildings of Okunitama Jinja Shrine were destroyed by fire in 1646. The present main hall was completed in 1667 on the order of the forth shogun Tokugawa Ietsuna to reconstruct them.

Three buildings built in "sangensha-nagarezukuri" (which means to have frontage which is divided into three spans by pillars, and roofs which are warped gently) style are arranged side by side with no gap. Such peculiar and rare style is called "kyukensha-nagarezukuri" which means to have frontage with nine spans and warped roofs. Three shrines share one by one in a building, in the style which is called "aidenzukuri". The total length of ridge is about 14 meters and the height reaches about 9 meters. The main building surrounded by hedge, is vermillion-lacquered and looks attractive with the white gravel filled inside of the hedge. The roof was covered by sliced bark of Japanese cypress before, but changed into the copperplate at the end of the Edo period.

Ridgepole plate and praying labels which are dated in 1667, still exist and you can see the name of the 4th shogun Ietsuna written on praying label.

The buildings are precious also as examples of construction ordered by shogun.

Opening Information of the Okunitama Jinja Honden

Opening Days:
All year (Allowed to look at only the exterior)
Opening Times:
All day (Allowed to look at only the exterior)
Free (Allowed to look at only the exterior)
parkingNo smokingToiletsAccessible facility