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Updated on December 10, 2021

Date 10 December 2021
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※The December edition was produced on the basis of information accurate as of November 15.

A Perfect Day in Tokyo 12/2021

A philosophy-themed park
Tetsugakudo Park (Nakano-ku)

The Tetsugakudo’s landmark structures, Rokken-dai (Pagoda of the Six Wise Ones) (right) and Shisei-do (Four Sages Hall)
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In Nakano-ku, there is a park that is unique even in the world because of its philosophy theme. The park is dotted with buildings and monuments constructed as visual expressions of the world of philosophy called the 77 Features of the Tetsugakudo (Temple Garden of Philosophy).

After a 30-minute stroll heading north along the Nakano-dori Avenue from Nakano Station, you’ll arrive at the gate of Tetsugakudo Park. You can enter the park from here, but it’s best to follow the route designed by the Tetsugakudo’s founder, Inoue Enryo. Walk some more while viewing the park grounds to your right. Go inside the park from the Nakano-dori entrance or the main gate entrance, and proceed until you find a spot flanked by a pair of stone pillars. This is the main entrance to the Tetsugakudo. Pick up a guide map at the management office, which sits just beyond the entrance, and begin strolling around this temple garden.

In 1903, Inoue Enryo, philosopher and founder of Toyo University, began constructing the Tetsugakudo in order to create a place for spiritual cultivation and learning for all. Over the course of his lifetime, Inoue invested his personal assets to gradually expand this temple garden. The Tetsugakudo completed by Inoue is preserved as a park today. Last year, Tetsugakudo Park was designated one of Japan’s Places of Scenic Beauty.

The Joshiki-mon (Gate of Common Sense), which invites visitors into the world of philosophy from the ordinary world, marks the start to the experience in philosophy. The Tetsugakudo is divided into three main areas. First, visit Jiku-ko (Hill of Time and Space), an open space expressing the time and space of philosophy. The historic structures, including the Shisei-do (Four Sages Hall) dedicated to Confucius, Buddha, Socrates, and Kant, in this area are worth the look even if just for their architecture. You can go inside some of these buildings, so you should check when they are open to the public before visiting. Walk down a flight of steps to come to two areas featuring a pair of gardens, called the Yuibutsu-en (Garden of Materialism) and Yuishin-tei (Garden of Idealism). Experience the world of philosophy through your own eyes while deepening your insights by carefully reading the explanatory panels set up in front of the 77 Features of the Tetsugakudo.

You might enjoy wandering around the park while savoring the nature of the four seasons. Why not visit during the perfect season for you?

Nigenku (Junction of Dualism).
Watch your step in the park as it has hilly areas.

The Tetsugakudo Park is a 30-minute walk from Nakano Station on the JR Chuo and Sobu lines or Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, and a 10-minute walk from Araiyakushi-mae Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line.
[Tetsugakudo Park Office]
Phone: 03-3951-2515. Open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from March through June and September; 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in July and August; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in October and November). Closed on December 29, 30, and 31. The old structures are open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month, and during the spring and autumn seasons.
Website (external link).

※This article is also available in other languages. (日本語中文한국어)

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