Shinjuku: A City Close to Deities *RERUN
A city where the lights never go out. Shinjuku in Tokyo is a big city, full of everything from business to entertainment. More than 3.5 million people use Shinjuku Station every day. Standing close to the city is the Hanazono Shrine, which has watched over the lust and greed of the people for 350 years. This neighborhood has embraced countless ways of life. Welcome to a district with great depth.

Hanazono Shrine, an Entertainment Sanctuary

There are 3 deities enshrined at the Hanazono Shrine. The deity of the Inari Shrine, the Otori Shrine and the Raiden Shrine. But in fact, there is another invited from another shrine; a deity of entertainment that joined the Hanazono Shrine in 1981. Theater, films, songs and comedy. The Hanazono Shrine has watched over the birth and launch of numerous works. Shinjuku is a city that accepts those searching for their own stage, and also those dreaming of becoming a future star.

Memories of the Night City

To the west of the Hanazono Shrine is an area which has survived the ups and downs of turbulent times. It is a block of alleys that come to life as night falls, known as the "Shinjuku Golden Gai." A place where many famous Japanese intellectuals, celebrities drank till morning came. Once, the area was a hive of illegal prostitution. But the law caught up with the alleys, and the brothels became bars instead. Closely packed buildings and the narrow maze-like alleys are remnants of the genesis of this "colorful" part of town.

A Festival to "Rake In" Good Fortune

In November, many people come to Hanazono Shrine for an annual event to prepare for the end of the year. The festival is called Torinoichi, meaning the Cock Festival in Japanese. Rakes decorated with good-luck charms line street stalls. The rakes are a symbol of "raking in" good fortune. Festival music that has remained unchanged for 3 and a half centuries is performed by children living in this city. The rhythm of the music is engrained into the hands and minds of the local children.