Visit the Nitta Shrine, or Nitta Jinja, a serene place of worship revered across Japan. While it was built to honor the brave warrior Nitta Yoshioki of the Imperial Southern Court, the temple has become a modern-day haven where Japanese people come, hoping to have love, luck and longevity bestowed upon them.
Learn about the history and lore of the Nitta Shrine. It was constructed in an attempt by local villagers to appease the angry spirit of the great samurai warrior Nitta Yoshioki. According to folklore, he cursed all who were involved in his rather gruesome death. In one of the mighty battles between northern and southern Japan during the 14th century, Yoshioki was killed during a ferry crossing when his enemies bored holes into the bottom of his boat and then shot him with multiple arrows. Lightning strikes and fires ravaged the area. To appease his furious spirit, the shrine was built on the site of his death. This religion that is based on enshrining ghosts as protection from their evil spirits is known in Japan as Goryo Shinko.
Wander through the quiet grounds of the temple until you find the famous 700-year-old zelkova tree towering above. Throughout its long life, the tree has managed to survive several fires, as well as air raids during World War II, which ravaged the rest of the temple buildings. The tree is famed across Japan for bringing luck in health and long life to anyone who touches it.
Discover your amorous side at the Love Shrine, a sculpture that attracts Japanese people looking to fall in love. Standing in a small bamboo grove, this modern artwork depicts an arrow and is based on the tradition of offering hamaya, or bamboo arrows, at shrines.
Find Nitta Shrine just a short walk from the Musashi-Nitta train station on the Tokyu Tamagawa railway line. The shrine is free to enter and open from dawn to dusk.