This summer, my adventures took me to Japan once again, to explore the mysterious city of Fuchu. Fuchu is hosting the Rugby World Cup’s teams of England and France later on this year, so I was curious to know more about this city, only a short train ride away West from Shinjuku station in Tokyo. From shrines to temples, peaceful Japanese Gardens to typical sushi restaurants and sake bars, it has everything from the quintessentially Japanese city. But it has even more to offer. Fuchu provided us with an authentic and untouched window into the day to day life of Japanese people and their culture.
As we walked the streets of the city and into the shrine, we learned more and more about the beliefs of the Shinto religion whilst visiting the beautiful Okunitama Shrine. Whilst there, we paid a visit to Ohyama Kuinokami, the God of alcohol hailing from Kyoto’s Matsuo shrine (a shrine of alchohol and Japanese Sake) and learnt about Yaorozu no Kami ( 八百万の神) and how the religion has its infinity of Gods. We let our own Hitogatanagashi, a little human shaped paper, wash away in the river of the God of water alongside with our pain.
We also learned more about the various festivals that are held in the city and even got lucky enough to go to one, The Summer Plum Festival, trying all the local street food on the way to the Shrine. Zelkova Tree Street, or Baba Damion Keyaki Namiki in Japanese is a 545 meters long road that goes straight from the main gate of the Shrine. On this street, few times during the year, take places the various festivals of the city. The most famous one takes place during the night time, as the Gods are too bright to be seen during the day, and takes place during a few days during the month of May.
But luckily, right at the same time as the Rugby World Cup will take place, another important festival will take place in Fuchu! And if that’s not enough to entertain your stay, there is also one of the most important race course in the country in the city, as well as the Suntory Beer Factory.
Fuchu is a very special little place that I will never forget.
*This trip was hosted and paid for by Fuchu Tourism, you can get more info about Fuchu by going over on the official site of the tourism board