It might not be eerily quiet, there are still conversations going on and pieces being shuffled around yet Yasuda Mako suggests in Hanazono Jinja Aozora Kotto-ichi (Real Tokyo) that the flea market at Hanazono Shinto Shrine is a quiet oasis a few minutes walk from the noise and bustle of Shinjuku.
Even though Shinjuku Gyoen: East Meets West Meets..... France? (Fantastic Japan) made it sound like quieter corners can be found in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, the Hanazono Shinto Shrine, flea market or not sounds good for a refreshing break.
In Hanazono Shrine (10 Days in Japan, July 2009), Chris shares that "Hanazono Jinja is a Shinto Shrine, not to be confused with a Buddhist
Temple. I guess you’re just supposed to know. The names give it away
I guess. A “Jinja” (神社) is a Shinto shrine, whereas a “Tera” or
“-Dera” (寺) is a Buddhist temple. At a shrine, you’re supposed to
cleanse your hands and mouth at the water fountain with the cups (which
shouldn’t actually touch your mouth, or your hands) wave some incense
around you, then make an offering to whomever and say a short prayer at
Chris also writes that "the small section of land that Hanazono occupies is a sanctuary from
the rest of the city. Immediately the noise and hustle disappeared" and informs us that "the history of Hanazono goes back some 300 years, dedicated to an
Imperial prince from Japanese mythology."
I borrowed one of the 10 Days in Japan snapshots (above) as an illustration.
Quiet days in Japan for Tokyo Thursdays #102
Last week on Tokyo Thursdays: Low Budget Dining in Shibuya, Standing Sushi or Standing Bar