Emblem Hostel Nishiarai organizes a free walking tour to Nishiarai Daishi Temple for hostel guests on 1st, 8th, 21st and 28th of every month.
On 21st of every month, Nishiarai Daishi Temple has a festival, so we featured the walking tour on 21st in this article.
We first start with introducing one another. Today we had participants from U.K., Spain, Australia, Japan, Sweden and U.S.A. What an international group!
There are also some Japanese people as a volunteer. They join workshops and events organized by Emblem Hostel Nishiarai, to interact with travelers from all over the world, or to practice English.
Say “Cheese”? Say “Nishairai”!
Emblem Hostel connector briefly explains the history of Nishiarai daishi, and where the word “Nishiarai” come from.
Meaning of the word “Nishiarai”.
“nishi” – west,
“ara” – new
“i (ido)” – a well
About 1,200 years ago, Buddhist monk “Ko-bo Daishi” Travelled around Tokyo area.
When he arrived at the area around Nishiarai, an epidemic prevailed. The Buddhist monk carved an image of Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) and an image of himself. He put Kannon one in a temple, his image inside a dried-up well, prayed for 21 days.
Then pure water came up, and the water healed people around there. The well was located on west side from the temple, that’s why this place is called “Nishiarai”.
Holding a festival on 21st of every month also comes from this story.
Now we know the meaning of “Nishiarai”, time to visit!
Walking to Daishi Tepmle
We walked through local streets. You can see the daily life in downtown Tokyo here.
Did we arrive already?
Not yet. If you see the gate, it is almost a half way to go!
First when we arrived at the temple, we purified ourselves by pure water.
This is how to do “chozu”:
1, Bow in front of “chozu”
2, Ladle water with right hand, and wash left hand
3, Ladle water with left hand, and wash right hand
4, Rinse mouth
5, wash ladle with water left inside scoop
It is believed that this Jizo statue brings you a longer life by washing it. Of course we also scrubbed and washed the statue!
The way how to do worship in Buddhist temple is different from the way in shrine.
Having lunch in street market!
On the day of festival, there are a lot of street food shops around the temple.
Drum performance is one of the best parts of the festival.
This dynamic performance happens a few times on the day. We all were so excited!
After walking around the temple, we all are good friends already!
How do you like this Tokyo Hostel Experience?
We are organizing Nishiarai Daishi Free Walking Tour 4 times a month, with local Japanese staff. It is going to be a good chance for hostel guests who would like to experience deep Tokyo and encounter something local. You can check the latest events information from our Event Calendar.
Check the previous event pictures here:
Also, our walking tour to Nishiarai Daishi is taken up by Japan Travel Web Magazine, MATCHA.
Here is the articles: