Alongside Kawagoe, Asakusa, and Yanaka, Shibamata (柴又) is one 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.

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Close to Shibamata Station (柴又駅) lies the beginning of the pedestrianised Taishakuten Sando (帝釈天参道) shopping street.

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Lined with traditional wooden buildings the street is home many small shops and restaurants.

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We had some tasty freshly-cooked yakitori for lunch.

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Opposite another stall selling some sort of offal wasn’t quite as appetising!

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There are plenty of free samples on offer to entice customers.

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These ladies were patiently hand cooking rice crackers.

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At the far end of the street lies Shibamata Taishakuten (柴又帝釈天) temple which was founded in 1629.

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There was a long queue of visitors praying for good luck in the year ahead.

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Behind the temple lies a gorgeous landscaped garden.

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Having taken your shoes off at the temple, a wooden covered walkway guides you in a loop around the garden.

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The pond in the middle of the garden beautifully reflects the surrounding trees and pavilion.

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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.

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