Alongside Kawagoe, Asakusa, and Yanaka, Shibamata is one of very few remaining spots in Tokyo where you can get a glimpse of the city how it once was during the Edo period (1603 – 1868). The area combines a charming old shopping street with a beautiful temple and garden.
Close to Shibamata Station (柴又駅) lies the beginning of the pedestrianised Taishakuten Sando (帝釈天参道) shopping street.
Lined with traditional wooden buildings the street is home to many small shops and restaurants.
We had some tasty freshly-cooked yakitori for lunch.
Opposite another stall selling some sort of offal wasn’t quite as appetising!
There are plenty of free samples on offer to entice customers.
These ladies were patiently hand cooking rice crackers.
At the far end of the street lies Shibamata Taishakuten (柴又帝釈天) temple which was founded in 1629.
There was a long queue of visitors praying for good luck in the year ahead.
Behind the temple lies a gorgeous landscaped garden.
Having taken your shoes off at the temple, a wooden covered walkway guides you in a loop around the garden.
The pond in the middle of the garden beautifully reflects the surrounding trees and pavilion.
The main temple building houses ten intricately carved zelkova-wood panels depicting scenes from the lotus sutra. To protect it a glass conservatory has been built around the out which visitors can enter for a closer look.