, 2023-01-02 08:00:00,
On December 24, my wife and I traveled to Chofu with two rather disparate goals. One was to have a soba (buckwheat noodle) lunch at one of the scores of restaurants near Jindaiji, the second oldest Buddhist temple in the Tokyo area. The other was to view an enormous flower at the Jindai Botanical Garden, a flower also noted for its revolting fragrance.
Having had cataract surgery on the December 22, we decided to take the Keio Line from Shinjuku to Chofu and then walk the 1.6 km (about 1 mile) to the park rather than cycle.
This route led to some pleasant serendipitous discoveries.
Walking to the Soba Restaurant Street in Chofu
Using a map from the tourist guide booth on the east side of Chofu Station, we walked north along Tenjin-dori Street. This was once a shopping street but is now mostly restaurants, several of which display signs saying they welcome families and kids.
Tenjin-dori Street leads to and terminates at Fuda Tenjin Shrine. It figures prominently in Gegege no Kitaro manga and anime series. The main character lived in a forest behind the Shrine.
In the Shrine precinct itself, there is a large sand sculpture of the principal yokai (monsters, ghouls, and goblins) in the series. Large, colorful figurines of these characters are a distinctive feature of Tenjin-dori street.
Shigeru Mizuki (1922-2015), the best-known of several authors who created 20th-century stories based on yokai, spent much of his life in Chofu.
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