One of the things which has always amazed me in Japan is the ability for a city to grow with old buildings being torn down and new buildings replacing them at an amazing and seemingly never-ending rate while old shrines and temples simply continue on in their peaceful existence through the centuries.
I can’t even begin to count how many times I have been in the very center of a large city and suddenly stumbled upon… a peaceful shrine, temple or garden nestled between towering office buildings or condomiums.
I almost always take the time to enter the grounds just to see how the atmosphere changes within a few meters.
I love that these places are treasured enough to be preserved throughout the centuries as I believe they provide a quiet and peaceful place for people to relax even if they live in the very center of a large city.
One such place I recently stumbled upon is Ikukunitama Jinja, also known as Ikutama Jinja near Kintetsu Uehommachi Station. 近鉄上本町駅 の生國魂神社（生玉神社・いくたまさん）
Ikutama Jinja is actually about a 10 minute walk south then west from Kintetsu Uehommachi Station. （近鉄上本町駅） Ikutama Jinja has large grounds containing several structures making up the shrine.
Ikutama Park is surrounded by busy urban life yet upon entering you immediately feel a change in the air you breathe and the general atmosphere. （生玉公園）
The sounds of busy urban life slowly fade away and you may even forget you are in the heart of busy Osaka City. Ikutama Jinja, as many shrines in Japan, hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, which as I have mentioned previously, I love to attend, especially in the summer.
However, I recommend visiting this place on a regular day, preferably a weekday to take in the refreshing environment and relaxing atmosphere.
I did not actually “stumble upon” this place as I mentioned earlier. One of my students at Smiths School of English in Fuse, （スミス英会話布施）who lives in Uehommachi （上本町）near Kintetsu Uehommachi Station, （近鉄上本町駅）told me about this place and that he regularly likes to go here just for a walk or to sit down, relax and meditate.
He suggested I go on a weekday, preferable during the day, as there are few people there so that is exactly what I did and I also took the time to enjoy a small lunch picnic while I was there.
As I’ve mentioned before, taking the time to check out these places, often recommended by my students at Smiths School of English in Fuse （スミス英会話布施）gives me a chance to learn more about where they are from as well as learn more about the great city of Osaka!
On my latest “adventure” I learned a little more about Uehommachi. （近鉄上本町駅）
If you are interested in checking out this place, just head out from Kintetsu Namba Station （近鉄難波駅）to Kintetsu Uehommachi Station（近鉄上本町駅）and look for signs pointing you in the direction of Ikukunitama Jinja. （生玉神社）
Another option is to ask the friendly Kintetsu staff at Kintetsu Uehommachi Station, （近鉄上本町駅）as I did, and they will point you in the right direction.
If you find yourself in the neighborhood of Kintetsu Uehommachi Station, check it out! （近鉄上本町駅）
Alessandro “Alex” Stanciu
Smith’s School of English Fuse
月謝制 の スミス 英会話 布施 校