This efficient three-hour circuit narrows down Hino City's many tourist spots to highlight the places that allow you to experience the history of the Shinsengumi. With easy-to-understand access methods and images that display the charm of the places, this is a must-read.
Start from Hino Station, approx. 30 minutes from Shinjuku Station on the JR Chuo Line!
Arrive at Hino Station
Catch a train departing Shinjuku Station at approx. 9:00 AM on the JR Chuo Line and arrive at Hino Station at 10:00 AM. When you exit the Hino Station ticket gate, you will be met with a relaxed atmosphere and subdued vista that is different to the urban areas of Tokyo such as Shinjuku.
Your trip to experience the history of the Shinsengumi – the last samurai – begins here!
Visit a place where the spirit of the Shinsengumi – the last samurai – remains
Hinojuku Honjin, a building that is over 150 years old, still stands today. The word honjin refers to an Edo-period dwelling that was used by people of high social status, such as a daimyo (a samurai with plenty of land and subordinates). Hikogoro Sato, the brother-in-law of Toshizo Hijikata, opened a dojo on the grounds of the honjin, which became a place where Toshizo Hijikata, Isami Kondo, Soji Okita, Genzaburo Inoue and other swordsmen who would later be central figures in the Shinsengumi honed their sword skills.
In addition to a garden and building that lets visitors experience the samurai spirit of the time, Hinojuku Honjin also displays precious artifacts that have been handed down over the years. The collection of Shinsengumi-related artifacts is said to be the largest in Japan, making it an essential spot for all fans.
Open9:30 AM - 17:00 PM (last entries 16:30 PM)ClosedEvery Monday (*the following day if Monday is a public holiday), New YearsAdmissionAdults: 200 yen; children: 50 yenPhone Number042-583-5100Address2-15-9 Hinohommachi, Hino-shi, Tokyo
Visit the shrine where the Shinsengumi prayed for their Tennen Rishin-ryu (a style of martial art) sword skills to improve.
Another spot deeply connected to the Shinsengumi, Yasaka Shrine catches the eye with its massive gate which faces the street. While you can only see the originals during the Yasaka Shrine Votive Tablet Exhibition, which is held during the Hino Shinsengumi Festival season, Yasaka Shrine holds votive tablets offered by central figures in the Shinsengumi which are inscribed with wishes to improve in the Tennen Rishin-ryu sword techniques that they had learned. These tablets feature the names of those who would go on to form the Shinsengumi, such as Isami Kondo, Soji Okita, and Genzaburo Inoue.
When you pay the 300 yen offering, you will be able to receive a letter (proof of your visit) which depicts the patterns used on Shinsengumi clothing.
Address3-14-12 Hinohommachi, Hino-shi, Tokyo
Catching buses in Hino City
This recommended route uses buses. If you're not sure about how to catch a bus, please watch this video!
Learn about the path taken by the Shinsengumi
Shinsengumi Furusato History Museum
At the Shinsengumi Furusato History Museum, various documents related to the Shinsengumi are displayed. Learn about the path taken by the Shinsengumi from exhibition materials that include letters written by Isami Kondo and Soji Okita, wooden swords and guns used at the time, and labels which explain the history of Shinsengumi.
Original T-shirts and Hakuoki-related merchandise are available here. Why not get your Hino City souvenirs here?
A commemorative photo shoot while wearing the outfit of the Shinsengumi is also popular! Strike a pose with a replica sword and take a photo to make you feel like you are the ultimate swordsman. When taking the photo, try saying “Goyou Aratame De Aru” - which was believed to be said by the Shinsengumi to those they were pursuing. Enjoy your samurai experience!
Opening Hours9:30 AM - 17:00 PM (Last entry at 16:30 PM)ClosedEvery Monday, (*the following day if Monday is a public holiday); year end/New Year’sAdmissionAdults (high school students and over) 200 yen, Child (elementary and middle school students) 50 yenPhone Number042-583-5100Address4-16-1 Shimmei, Hino-shi, Tokyo
Lunch on the street leading to Takahata Fudoson, near Takahatafudo Station
Lunch on the street to Takahata Fudoson
Hop off the bus in front of the Takahatafudo Station and head towards the street leading to Takahata Fudoson. The street features numerous restaurants where you can enjoy amazing soba noodles and tendon (tempura donburi). Cafés and Japanese confectionery stores can also be found on the street and you can always stop by anytime, even before and after lunch.
Takahata Fudoson - the temple famous for its connection to the vice-commander of the Shinsengumi, Toshizo Hijikata
Takahata Fudoson, a temple with 1100 years of history.
This temple is also famous for being the bodaiji (a temple where the family grave is) of the vice-commander of the Shinsengumi, Toshizo Hijikata, and also preserves valuable materials relating to the Shinsengumi. A statue of Toshizo Hijikata can be found near the temple so don't forget to take a photo with him if you're a Shinsengumi fan! In addition, the spacious premises contains beautiful buildings including a five-story pagoda and Deva gate which enchant visitors and give a taste of history.
Takahata Fudoson is also famous for its variety of over 7,800 hydrangeas. The hydrangea festival is held every year from June 1st to beginning of July – the period in which the flowers are in full bloom – so visiting the temple during this season is highly recommended.
After enjoying the scenery around the grounds, walk into the “Inner Hall”, where numerous cultural assets are stored and displayed. The first floor of this hall is an exhibition room and the second floor is a repository. Toshizo Hijikata’s handwritten letters, the actual sword used by Genzaburo Inoue, and various other materials related the Shinsengumi are displayed. The Jorokufudosanson (seated Buddha) statue, repaired for the first time in 1000 years, is also a must-see!
Next, let’s take a look at the Dainichido Hall located further inside the grounds of Takahata Fudoson. Inside the building, there is a room with a ceiling painted with a picture of a dragon. Clapping your hands beneath the dragon will make a unique sound and it is said that doing so will make your wishes come true. Toshizo Hijikata's spirit tablet (a wooden tablet with the name of those who have passed away) is also kept here.
The Goma ritual, possibly the main event of a trip to Takahata Fudoson, has to be seen and is highly recommended to all those visiting the temple. The Goma ritual is an ascetic practice in which a prayer is said in front of a fire and unclean thoughts (all evil and erroneous thoughts and desires which disrupt peoples' hearts) are burned away by the flames. You will certainly feel refreshed after completing the Goma ritual!
The ritual is held in Fudodo Hall several times throughout the day from 5 AM to 4 PM. Reservations can be made until 10 minutes prior to the practice and everyone is welcome to participate.
Visiting hours for the Inner Hall9:00 AM - 4:00 PMClosedMonday (however, open through January and while various festivals are being held)AdmissionInner Hall: 300 yen/Dainichido: 200 yen etc.Address733 Takahata, Hino-shi, Tokyo
Return to Shinjuku Station from Takahatafudo Station!
That concludes a route for experiencing the history of the Shinsengumi first hand and enjoying the charm of Hino City!
The starting point was Hino Station; however, you can always return to Shinjuku Station by taking a train on the Keio Line from Takahatafudo Station (a trip that takes as little as about 30 minutes).
Please come and visit Hino City and enjoy charms which cannot be found in the urban areas of Tokyo!
Born into an affluent farming family, Hijikata studied swordmanship and Tennen Rishin-ryu (a style of martial art) while dreaming of becoming a samurai.
Inoue was Isami Kondo's senior and the captain of the Shinsengumi's sixth unit.
Kondo studied swordmanship and Tennen Rishin-ryu (a style of martial art), going on to be become the commander of the Shinsengumi despite being born a peasant.
He studied the Tennen Rishin-ryu school of swordsmanship from 9 years of age and utilized his amazing skills as captain of the Shinsegumi's first unit.
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As the person who opened the dojo in the grounds of Hinojuku Honjin to teach Tennen Rishin-ryu to those who would go on to become members of the Shinsengumi, Sato played a very important role.
Yamanami was the General Secretary of the Shinsengumi and was a prodigy in Hokushin Itto-ryu swordmanship.
In addition to sword techniques, this comprehensive martial art also utilizes jujitsu, rods, and spears to defeat enemies.
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The 246-year period between 1603 and 1867, when Japan was governed by the Tokugawa Shogunate, is known as the Edo era.
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As part of IDEA FACTORY's female-oriented game brand OTOMATE, Hakuōki is a romantic adventure game series which features characters from the Shinsengumi.