Honmon-ji Shrine and Rengetsu Cafe – Exploring Around Ikegami

We took the day to explore by foot around our surrounding area in Ikegami.

One of the big sights around Ikegami is apparently the Ikegami Honmon-ji Shrine (池上本門寺), so we decided to check it out.

The place seemed nearly deserted, but a sign at the front let us know we were in the right spot.

It was quite hot and humid, but an excellent breeze could be had from the top of the stairs leading up to the Shrine.

Up the top we found the main Shrine, along with some graves and a pagoda.

Some monks were doing a little bit of chanting up in the main hall.

No one was really around, which kind of made us feel like we were about to be kicked out for trespassing any second. However, rest assured it is open to the public as we did see the odd person here and there wandering around as well.

There were plenty of stairs as the area seems to be situated on a hill, but it’s a pleasant walk through the greenery.

We also found an adjoining park area, which had a BBQ, picnic area, pond and children’s playground. The noise from the cicadas was literally deafening, it was actually quite amazing to experience.

All in all the Honmon-ji Shrine was interesting to look around, as our first taste of a shrine in Japan. Although it was a bit empty, it was nice to walk around the grounds and enjoy the park area.

We went to Rengetsu cafe shortly afterwards for lunch, which is apparently an old Soba house from the 1930’s which has been restored.

Lunch was good, although the only vegetarian item on the menu was toast!

With food in our bellies we decided to head home and crank the air conditioning for some much-needed relief from the humid summer heat.

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