Todoroki Fudoson is located adjacent to the Todoroki Valley in Setagaya City, Tokyo prefecture. Walking through Todoroki Valley, the only valley in all of Tokyo, to Todoroki Fudoson is very beautiful and different from the rest of Tokyo. To enter the temple, I crossed a small wooden bridge and climbed a few sets of stairs.
Upon entering Todoroki Fudoson, you are met with a temizuya containing a dragon. After walking a little further, you reach the temple’s main courtyard. The main building (hondo) is very nice and has a grey roof with accents of green. There are three large bells at the entrance of the hondo that you may ring before throwing your offering into the offertory box and making a prayer/wish.
In the courtyard area, there is a small temple office where visitors can purchase a goshuin as proof of their visit to the shrine or temple. A goshuin is a written honorable seal that is considered a manifestation of the site’s main deity. Most shrines and temples also sell goshuinchos (goshuin books) if you would like to start a goshuin collection. The goshuincho is where the goshuin will be written.
Todoroki Fudoson’s courtyard area also contains an incense pot where you can exchange 100 yen for an incense stick that you can light and insert into the pot as an offering. A unique part of the incense process is that the temple trusts visitors to pay the 100 yen as no temple member is making sure of this donation. Instead, there is often a small offertory box that acts as the acceptance of payment. This trust-based process is something that would not be prevalent in other parts of the world but does work in Japan due to cultural differences and norms. Next to the incense pot, there is an omikuji, fortune slip, wire display that is connected to a trio of traditional Japanese lanterns. Omikuji can be purchased at the previously mentioned temple office and often come in various languages such as Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean. The three non-Japanese languages are the most spoken by foreign travelers and tourist areas such as museums will often feature the three languages alongside Japanese.
Todoroki Fudoson is a beautiful temple that offers lush greenery and great views of the surrounding area. I highly recommend visiting the temple and Todoroki Valley due to its uniqueness from the rest of Tokyo.