SHOBOIN − The Temple of Tobi-Fudo (Flying God)
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The temple was founded in 1530 by St.Shozan, a Buddhist priest of the Tendai sect.St.Shozan pilgrimaged around the country after completion of his hard ascetic practices in the holy Mt.Ohmine in Nara. When he visited this place of Ryusen and lodged with the inhabitants, he dreamed of a dragon flying high up into the air in a streak of light. The dream of a dragon was interpreted as the symbol of divine protection by Fudo (one of Gods in Buddhism). Then, he determined to sculpture an image of Fudo to pray for the health and longevity of inhabitants and for the safety of his own pilgrimage. And he founded Shoboin temple to enshrine the image of Fudo.

FLYING GOD − The Legend of Tobi-Fudo

Shortly after the foundation of the temple, the chief priest took the image of Fudo with him to the holy Mt.Ohmine for his ascetic exercises there. One night, however, Fudo flew back alone all the way of 300 miles to Edo(old Tokyo) to answer the local people who were praying to the duplicated image during absence of Fudo.Hence the Fudo came to be called as Tobi(Flying)-Fudo, and highly reputed as the god flying straightly to the prayers to answer. The temple name appears as Tobi-Fudo in many old maps and history books issued in Edo period(1603-1868) instead of it’s formal name Shoboin. This suggests that Tobi-Fudo has been popularly known and worshiped from old times.In recent years, in connection of this legend with the development of air transportation, an increasing number of people have come to visit the temple to pray for their safe flights and journeys. Fudo’s protective amulets called “Hiko-Mamori” for safe flights and journeys are now available at the temple.

PILGRIMAGE to The 36 Fudo Temples in and around Tokyo

The temple introduces the pilgrimage to the 36 Fudo temples (19 temples including Shoboin in Tokyo, 7 in Kanagawa, 5 each in Chiba and Saitama) to pray for various divine protections by Fudo. It takes 7 or 8 days to visit all the 36 temples, but the pilgrims may visit those temples in any order to suit their conveniences.

AN HOUR Walk Circuit of The Shitaya Shichi-Fukujin
The Shitaya Seven Deities of Good Fortune (Shichi-Fukujin) are worshiped at one shrine and 6 temples located in the limited area called Shitaya including Shoboin, near Ueno JR station in Tokyo. It takes about one hour on foot for this circuit. The Seven Deities are said to bring wealth and longevity. Shoboin is also dedicated to Ebisu, one of the Seven. Ebisu is well venerated specifically as the tutelary deity of fishery and commerce and, as the god of safe voyage, wealth and good marriage.The feast of Ebisu is celebrated on 10th October every year at Shoboin.

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