marky star

Ōedo Line: Nakano-Sakaue

In Japanese History on July 13, 2015 at 5:04 am

中野坂上
Nakano-Sakaue (Nakano Hilltop)

nakano sakue

The name of this area, 中野 Nakano, means “middle field.” The name is said to derive from the fact that Nakano sat smack in the middle of former 武蔵国 Musashi no Kuni Mushashi Province.

Nakano-Sakaue is located near the border of Shinjuku Ward and Nakano Ward which is marked by the 神田川 Kanda-gawa Kanda River. The bridge that links Shinjuku and Nakano is called 淀橋 Yodobashi – literally Yodo Bridge. If you’re familiar with Japanese electronics retailers, you’ve probably heard of Yodobashi Camera. The store’s name derives from this bridge.

Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku

Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku

There is a temple near the station called 宝仙寺 Hōsen-ji that boasts an Edo Period 仁王門 Niō Mon and a 3 story pagoda that was one of the 6 Towers of Edo. The list of 6 towers included the pagodas at Sensō-ji in Asakusa and the two Tokugawa funerary temples of Kan’ei-ji in Ueno and Zōjō-ji in Shiba. That is to say, it had some pretty high pedigree in its day. Today the temple is a shadow of its former glory and even the local people don’t know much about it. Every year in February, a bunch of old men dress up like warrior monks and put on a parade that amounts to little more than a clownshow for elementary school students who have no interest in samurai or old men.

The Nio Gate of Hosen-ji

The Nio Gate of Hosen-ji

In the Edo Period, the area was dotted with small villages along the 青梅街道 Ōmekaidō Ōme Highway and the Kanda River. Today, it’s primarily a residential area and while I love Nakano, there isn’t anything touristy to do in Nakano-Sakaue. There’s a good 串揚げ kushiage place there. Kushiage refers to finger foods that are skewered, battered, and deep fried. It goes best with beer, shōchu, or sake. The shop is super cheap and has a good local vibe. It’s called 平田屋 Hirata-ya and can be found here, a 5 min walk from the station[i].

kushiage

Hirata-ya

The station was attacked with Sarin gas in the spring of 1995 by a religion called オウム真理教 Aumu Shinrikyō. The attack left 12 dead and irreparably injured many more.

When I lived in Nakano, I met a person whose husband was among the dead. She still suffers various after-effects to this day including severe memory loss. 20 years later, most people don’t make any connection between this station and terrorism. It seems like any other normal station.

gas

Please Support My Blog
It Don’t Write Itself™
Click Here to Donate via Patreon
(I’ve begun making exclusive videos for patrons)

This is part of an ongoing series that begins here

__________________________________
[i] Nakano-Sakaue Station is home to the 丸ノ内線 Marunouchi-sen Marunouchi Line, too. So it has great access from Shinjuku Station. I would walk from Shinjuku to there, but I’m a walking maniac. If you don’t know the area, it’s better to take the train.

  1. This station’s involvement in the sarin gas incident is somewhat tenuous. The gas was released on one train headed in the direction of Nakano-sakaue but 14 stations earlier. That was on the Marunouchi line and the Oedo-sen station at Nakano-sakaue is not even directly connected to the Marunouchi station (separate gates with a significant walk between them. Only one person died on the Marunouchi line, according to the Wikipedia article you cite in the post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: