Photo walk around Toyama, Shin-Okubo

The last time I visited here was on my way back from a stopover at Waseda University, and I decided to continue when I saw a conspicuous red torii gate.

This torii is Ana Hachimangu Shrine, which is well known to those in the know.

牛込高田鎮座 穴八幡宮

This shrine is said to be very beneficial for prosperous business and to bring in money. In particular, the “Ichiyo Raifuku” amulet distributed from the day of the winter solstice is very popular, and it is said that if you put it on your house facing the appropriate direction of blessings on Setsubun day, you will have a miraculous effect. It is said that every year at the time, the number of visitors to the shrine surges and stalls line the grounds of the shrine. In fact, I have one in my living room (laugh).

Today, however, there is no such commotion yet. It is quiet in the precincts of the shrine, but even so, there are still visitors here and there.

The bright vermilion-lacquered gate and lanterns, which seem to have been recently refurbished, look beautiful in the autumn air.

I wonder how old the trees are, but they are lined up on either side of the main shrine, creating a deep green in this city.

It’s time to leave Hachiman-sama and head for Toyama Park.

Metropolitan Toyama Park extends east-west across the Yamanote Line railway  tracks, but the east side (Hakoneyama area) is anomalously separated from the west side (Okubo area), so they appear to be separate parks.


I entered the park from the northeast end of the Hakoneyama area. I had some place I wanted to go, but the unusual shape of the park made it difficult to get close to there. After a little bit of lost and repeated going in and out of the park, I finally found the place I wanted to go.

This is Mt. Hakone, 44.6 meters high and is the highest peak inside the Yamanote Line (=center of Tokyo) area.

I had to climb it, so here I am.

It’s a stair climb of about 50 steps, but I’m not very athletic and the last few steps were a bit of a drag.” The “summit” is an observation area large enough for dozens of people to stand.

And the highest point (lol). The view from here must be magnificent during the cherry blossom season.

After this, I left the park and headed toward Shin-Okubo Station, but here I was still tormented by the Toyama labyrinth. The Toyama apartment complex is spread out in the vicinity, and in addition to similar streets, the streets are not orthogonal to each other, so I had no idea which direction I was going!

At this point, Google Maps was not responding well, so I was quite impatient.

Finally, I was able to get out to Okubo Street, and after walking for a while, I saw more and more stores like this one, so I thought, “Ah, Shin-Okubo is so close.”

It’s been a while since I’ve been in Shin-Okubo Korean town, but the city’s ability to attract mainly young women has not diminished at all. The difference between Shin-Okubo and other downtown areas is that the number of male customers is noticeably smaller. It is difficult to take pictures with a DSL camera in such a crowded street, so I refrained from taking pictures.

It was a lost photo walk, going back and forth, but we finally arrived at Shin-Okubo station.

The Lumix S5 and Lumix S20-60mm are lightweight, easy to handle, and solid with an AF system, making them a reliable ally for city walking photography. They are a great companion for city walking photography. They also embody the strengths of FF for indoor wide-angle photography and outdoor high-contrast scenes, which is really great.

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