PrayYamanote is a ministry prayer-circling the mega-city of Tōkyō on the JR Yamanote Line, interceding on behalf of her 38 million people and asking God to claim this strategic city for His glory and honor. We, a community of Japanese and foreign Christians from many different churches and organizations, have prayed while riding the Yamanote Line almost every Tuesday since 2013. We are trusting that the Father will bring down the walls of resistance in the manner of Jericho of long ago. Thank you for joining! May the name of Jesus be lifted high.
Though this guide can be used at any time by anyone, we officially meet every Tuesday morning at 10am inside Ikebukuro Station, where we start with a devotion and then pray while riding the train for about one hour. If you’d like to join us, please proceed through the JR ticket gates, make your way onto any Yamanote Line platform, head to the far south end of the platform (toward signs for the Metropolitan gate), then take the stairs up to the second level. We meet right across from Beck’s Coffee Shop. If you cannot join us physically, please join us virtually via Zoom at the same time. Lastly, if you would like more regular updates or if you’d like to contact us, please visit our Facebook page.
1 TŌKYŌ 東京
Tōkyō Station is a symbol of the past and the present, with one exit (Marunouchi) leading out the old Tōkyō train station, facing the Imperial Palace, and the other (Yaesu) characterized by the glistening GranTokyo towers. This station is a hub for this nation’s financial sector and for travel, welcoming over 400,000 passengers per day who are moving on to all parts of the city and the island. Grace City Church, part of the Redeemer Presbyterian family of churches, meets in this area. Tōkyō Marunouchi Partnership (TMP) is also working in this area.
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TMP’s vision is “Sharing Jesus Christ with more people to transform their work and life and to expand the partnership in which more leaders will be trained.” TMP’s main initiatives are Marunouchi Office Groups (Bible studies in businesses; goal of at least one group in each of 42 office buildings in Marunouchi), Samurai Project (raising up Bible-teaching servant leaders), and Marunouchi Church Tōkyō. tokyomarunouchipartnership.com
Pray for outreach in the business districts where churches are being planted. Pray for Grace City Church and the work they are doing in the Ōtemachi and Marunouchi areas. Pray for TMP to continue raising up servant leaders in this area and for multiplication of small groups in office buildings.
2 KANDA 神田
One stop away from Tōkyō Station, hardworking businessmen stop at local pubs here with their coworkers before heading home for the night. This area is flooded with small restaurants and bars, where many relationships, both business and personal, are forged. Though Kanda may be a place of fun and camaraderie, the roots of a drinking culture can lead to abuse and personal pain. Kanda-Myōjin Shrine is also located here.
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“A large and famous Shinto shrine in the Kanda/Ochanomizu area, the Myōjin shrine is home to the Kanda festival which is one of the three biggest in Tōkyō. Originally built in 730ad, the shrine has since been moved and rebuilt multiple times, although it did survive the bombing of WW2, unlike many other Japanese structures in the city. The Shrine’s proximity to tech-central Akihabara hasn’t left it untouched – it is a popular spot to buy talisman for the protection of electronic goods.”
Pray that workers will become not physically drunk, but spiritually drunk on the new wine of God’s Holy Spirit. Pray for God to provide for bar and restaurant owners in the area in the midst of the pandemic, and pray they would come to know their provider. Pray that whatever influence Kanda Myōjin Shrine has on the area would be broken, that Japanese people would see the futility in the talisman bought for protection and find true protection in Jesus alone.
3 AKIHABARA 秋葉原
Nicknamed “Electric Town,” this is a place where fantasy is idolized through technology, animation, graphic novels, memorabilia, girl/boy bands, and other avenues. This is a place where people, Japanese and foreigners alike, come to escape, sliding easily into a world that seems more desirable than their own. “Electric Town” also means more than just bright lit-up billboards and video screens — it is the place to find any electronic gadget you might need.
Kanda Christ Church is an Anglican church in the midst of love hotels and maid cafes in the backstreets of Akihabara.
Pray for those who flock to this area, that they will come to know Christ, the Light of the World. Pray for those who are shackled to addictions, that they would be set free through Jesus Christ and His love for them. Pray that sex businesses in this area would not flourish but would be shut down. Pray for Kanda Christ Church to be a light even when surrounded by darkness.
4 OKACHIMACHI 御徒町
During the Edo era, many low-ranking samurai, known as okachi, settled in this area, giving the station its name. Today, this area is characterized by many jewelers and craftsmen who echo the traditions of the okachi, but is also known for labyrinthine clusters of vendors and the Ameyoko, an outdoor market offering a vast array of products. Okachimachi Church is a Conservative Baptist Association church in this area. World Mission Society Church of God, a cult originating in South Korea disguised as a Christian church, has its Japanese headquarters in this area.
Pray for release from the bondage of the false spiritual beliefs and traditions that have been passed down for many generations. Pray specifically that people here would not be deceived by this cult and the many other cults in Japan parading as Christians. Pray that Christian craftsmen would be able to share their faith through their work. Pray for Okachimachi Church to preach the gospel boldly here.
5 UENO 上野
Historically, temples were placed here to guard the northeast side of the Edo castle, the direction believed to be the most susceptible to demons. Today, Ueno is the busiest commercial and entertainment center of the northeastern corner of Tōkyō, holding Ueno Park and Ueno Zoo. Ueno no Mori Christ Church, JTJ Mission Seminary, and Murasaki Sports (Christian owned sporting-gear store located in the heart of Ame-Yoko) are major Christian presences.
Pray that the many hundreds of thousands of people visiting this area daily will come to realize the emptiness of their noisy lifestyle and grow hearts that seek for the true oasis of soul found in the Lord. Pray that the Christian presences here would be bold and spread light.
6 UGUISUDANI 鶯谷
Historically Uguisudani was a place where many authors and poets lived and worked. Uguisudani station has the least amount of passenger traffic of all the Yamanote stations. Today, it has become a major center for the sex industry. The east side of the station is filled with rows of infamous love hotels. Ueno Holiness Church is one of the only Christian churches in this area. Tōkyō University of the Arts and Uguisudani Music Campus are also located here, which means street performers and free entertainment are common. Tōkyō National Museum is also located between this station and Ueno Park.
Pray for healing of the serious moral decay of this area. Pray for more transformed Christians and churches to populate this area. Pray for God’s strengthening for Ueno Holiness Church and pastor Matsumoto, that God would radiate the light of Christ in this dark area through them. Pray that students and professors studying art would find God and proclaim his name through art. Pray that those visiting the museum would see the futility of other gods worshipped throughout Japanese history.
7 NIPPORI 日暮里
Along with a large number of Shinto and Buddhist religious sites, Nippori is also filled with small to mid-sized businesses, houses and apartment buildings. It is a fun place for those who can afford a few hours of slower-paced life as they stroll. Nippori Textile District is a one-kilometer stretch of road occupied by textile and fabric stores. Arakawa Yuen is an amusement park boasting classic rides for kids, a petting zoo, and a splash zone all year round. Also here is Tennoji Temple, Yanaka Cemetery, and the surrounding Yanaka neighborhood. As for Christian presence, Shin-Ai Anglican Church and Tōkyō Nippori International Church.
Pray that God will receive glory for His Name among the people who live in this neighborhood! Pray that people would take time to slow down and listen to God’s voice. Pray for these two churches and others in the area to be light in the darkness.
8 NISHI-NIPPORI 西日暮里
A vast number of Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, and graveyards are concentrated here. Elderly folks seem drawn to these religious areas, though people of all ages work and live here. Christian presence includes Grace Gospel Christ Church and Calvary Chapel Logos Tōkyō.
Pray that God will teach the Japanese the folly of seeking the living among the dead. Pray that those Japanese people scared of death would find hope in Jesus who gives eternal life. Pray for the two churches above, that they would be a source of truth to the people in this area, and a source of hope especially for the elderly.
9 TABATA 田端
From the early to late 1900s, many writers and artists lived here, making Tabata a hub for art. The area is a combination of almost 50% uplands and 50% lowlands. There are several churches in this area including Tōkyō New Hope Chapel, Jujo Christ Church, Koinonia Christian Church and Akabane Bible Church.
Pray that God would spread the joy of knowing Him among the locals through His churches in the area. Pray that God would use artists and writers living here and elsewhere in Tokyo to bring people to himself, that people would realize the creativity they’ve been gifted is a reflection of God’s creativity and artistry.
10 KOMAGOME 駒込
Komagome is another quiet, residential area of Tōkyō known historically for its gardens and greenery. 六義園 Rikugien Garden here is often considered the most beautiful garden in Tōkyō, and one of only places you can view lit up autumn leaves at night. Tōkyō is known for its technology, nightlife, and neon billboards but is often overlooked for its beauty. Its landscape and gardens are a place of serene beauty, sculptured and peaceful, an oasis amid the noise of the city. Unfortunately, the beauty is worshipped instead of the Creator. A tree, a man-made sculpture, and a mountain, are all seen as gods to many Japanese who praise them and worship them as a source for answering prayers.
As for Christian presence, Central Bible College of the Japan Assemblies of God is located here, which has a seminary where many Japanese learn about God and enter ministry. Tōkyō New Hope Chapel, Komagome Church and Hongo Catholic Church are also in this area.
Pray that the Creator would be worshiped instead of the beautiful things He has created. Pray for the seminary, that many students would enter and devote their lives to the Great Commission. Pray for the churches in this area, that they would preach the truth and guide people into God’s presence.
11 SUGAMO 巣鴨
Sugamo is another low-key stop on the Yamanote and very popular among the senior citizen crowd. This has earned it the nickname “Harajuku for grannies” (after Harajuku, further south on the line and popular with youth). Japan has the world’s oldest population with one quarter of the population over 65, and on the 4th, 14th and 24th of each month they flock to this area to offer special prayers for healing and long life. Many elderly people in Japan have a great fear of death.
Pray for the elderly population, that they would come to know God and find eternal life in him. Pray that the people here would see the futility in these ritualistic prayers and turn to God instead. Pray for missionaries to find good ways to reach out to the elderly population of Tokyo.
12 ŌTSUKA 大塚
Ōtsuka is mainly residential, a quiet community where people call home and return at the end of a busy day. Besides the Yamanote Line, the only other line that runs through Ōtsuka is the Tokyo Sakura Tram (formerly the Toden Arakawa Line), a streetcar that passes through many older, traditional areas of the city with its terminus in Waseda. Ōtsuka is known for its Shōwa-era restaurants and izakaya bars tucked into small back streets, in addition to its many southeast Asian eateries. Indian, Bangladeshi, Vietnamese and Malaysian nationals make up the majority of the international community here.
Pray for the people of Tōkyō—real, ordinary, everyday people. Men, women, children, families, singles, who are going through life without knowledge of the rest, peace and hope found in Jesus. Pray for the southeast Asian community in Ōtsuka to come to know Jesus.
13 IKEBUKURO 池袋
Approximately 2.7 million people pass through this station each day. It is one of the major city centers. Ikebukuro Station clearly divides the east and the west – the east side is more entertainment, while the west is the cultural and educational district. Rikkyō University in western Ikebukuro has an Anglican Christian background and is one of the top universities in Tōkyō. There are also several Christian churches, including Tōkyō Life Church.
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東口 East Exit
– Entertainment: lots of restaurants, bars, pachinko parlors
– Minami Ikebukuro Park where a lot of people spend time throughout the day
– Sunshine City is a large mall on this side with an aquarium and an observation deck
西口 West Exit
– Cultural and educational district
– Ikebukuro Nishi-Guchi Park, which now holds the Global Ring Theater, an outdoor music and arts theater
– Rikkyō University, which has an Anglican Christian background and is one of the top universities in Tōkyō
– Tōkyō Life Church, just north of the station
– Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church, in western Ikebukuro
– Ikebukuro Manna Church, just west of the station and started in the midst of the pandemic!
Pray for the masses who are constantly moving through the station. Pray for harried sheep without shepherds who are lost. Pray for the college students at Rikkyō and for the ministries doing evangelism there. Pray for all the churches in this area.
14 MEJIRO 目白
Located here are Gakushuin University – a school for children of the Imperial Court which grew to be the educational center for the elite – and Japan Women’s University – the oldest and largest of the private women’s universities in Japan. This area holds several shops and a wealthy residential area with luxury apartments and designer houses.
Pray for Gakushuin students and the ministries taking place there. Pray that wealth and status would not fulfill, but that people would yearn to know the only One who satisfies.
15 TAKADANOBABA 高田馬場
This neighborhood is a student hub with many cheap restaurants and bars. Takadanobaba literally means “Takada’s Horse-riding Ground” and was a horse-riding site in the Edo period. Each fall, there are still 流鏑馬 (yabusame, horse-riding archery) exhibitions in nearby Toyama Park.
Waseda University (Japan’s top private university) is the closest major university, where many campus ministries like JCCC (Cru), Chi Alpha, and KGK (Intervarsity) reach out to students. KGK even has official status as a Waseda circle and has its own room in the Student Center. As for other Christian presence, Tōkyō Living Stone Church, Beside Church Tōkyō, Bread of Life Church, and Tōkyō Small Church Network’s Waseda Tsurumakichō Small Church and Yamabukichō Small Church are all in the Baba/Waseda area. Several JMB (Southern Baptist) and ReachGlobal missionaries are also doing campus outreach, with events like Five Minute English (to meet students), English Corner (to build relationships), and Communitas (a place for deeper conversation and direct gospel-sharing). Culture Makers Café (CMC) is another outreach event run in part by ReachGlobal missionaries which started online during the pandemic.
Pray for the students and young people who come to Baba to party and get drunk, that they would find their true identity in Jesus. Pray for all the above-listed student outreach groups and events at Waseda University and for fellowship with & discipleship for Christian students. Pray for the many churches in the Baba/Waseda area.
16 SHIN-ŌKUBO 新大久保
This multi-ethnic area is known for its Korean flair but is home to the largest number of various foreign residents in Tōkyō. Its streets are clustered with Korean restaurants and K-Pop paraphernalia shops, drawing not only expatriates but also many who find escape in the lives of their favorite foreign idols. Ōkubo Baptist Church, Kiyome Church of Christ, Tōkyō Central Church and Yodobashi Church are here.
Pray for the churches in this area, that they would be light in a dark place very focused on idolizing celebrities and singers. Pray for the many missionaries the Korean church has sent to Japan, that they would be effective in disciple-making and church-planting. Pray for the young people who frequent this area, that they would encounter Jesus and treasure him above all other idols in their lives.
17 SHINJUKU 新宿
Shinjuku is the busiest train station in the world, with an average of 3.5 million people passing through each day! It is a major commercial and administrative center, the west side being populated with skyscrapers and the east side featuring any type of shopping, entertainment or restaurant that you can imagine. Kabukichō, the red-light district, is also on the east side. As for Christian presence, Shinjuku Shalom Church and Full Gospel Tōkyō Church are in the Kabukichō area.
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Shinjuku Station has three main exits and in addition 200 small exits!
東口 Higashi-guchi (East Exit)
– Kabukichō: red light and entertainment district (strip clubs, love hotels, karaoke bars, restaurants)
– lots of shopping like well-known Isetan Department Store, Lumine, Uniqlo, Bic Camera, Yodobashi Camera and many others
– many arcades and pachinko slot machine parlors as you walk along the east side of the station
– ministry in this area: Shinjuku Shalom Church (Hyakuninchō)—24/7 prayer, lots of outreach in Kabukichō; Full Gospel Tōkyō Church (Kabukichō)
南口 Minami-guchi (South Exit)
– the southeast side of the station has Shinjuku Gyouen, which is a national garden and famous for お花見 ohanami (cherry-blossom viewing) in the spring and 紅葉 kouyou (autumn colors) viewing in the fall
– the south exit of the station is all very new and has a lot of western restaurants (Verve Coffee from CA and Shake Shack from NY)
– many department stores like Takashimaya and Mylord
西口 Nishi-guchi (West Exit)
– Skyscaper District: includes businesses, many premiere hotels, and the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government Building
– 小池百合子 Yuriko Koike is the governor of Tōkyō
– 工学院大学 Kōgakuin University, a private engineering school, established in 1887
– 文化学園大学 Bunka Gakuen University, a private women’s University, is a little further east
Pray that those who pass through here would slow down and move their focus from material things onto Jesus. Pray for the people being taken advantage of in the red light district and also for their oppressors. Pray for Shinjuku Shalom Church and Full Gospel Tōkyō Church and their ministry to this busy and sometimes dark area. Pray for Governor Koike as she makes important decisions for the Tōkyō prefecture. Pray for Kōgakuin University and Bunka Gakuen University students.
18 YOYOGI 代々木
Yoyogi Park is one of the largest parks in Tōkyō. It is a fun place to hang out and see all kinds of entertainment. It also has a large homeless population where a ministry called Sidewalk Chapel ministers. The Yoyogi National Stadium was designed for the 1964 Olympic Games. There are several “zemi” preparatory schools in Yoyogi where high school graduates who couldn’t get into college their first try go to prepare for the next round of entrance exams. Yoyogi Christian Church and the International Christian Body Office is here. UCCJ Yoyogi Chūbu Church is also here.
Pray for the homeless people in Yoyogi Park and for Sidewalk Chapel ministering to them. Pray that nature would speak to the Japanese of a Creator God who made heaven and earth and them! Pray for the churches in the area to preach the gospel. Pray for the students studying at the prep schools would find their identity not in getting into the best college but in their creator God.
19 HARAJUKU 原宿
Harajuku is known for teen culture and the fashion industry. One famous street here called Takeshita Dōri is famous for cosplay and “kawaii” (cute) culture. Sunday especially is a day when young people dress in cosplay and want to be seen. Another close-by street called Cat Street has many restaurants and coffee shops, but it is most famous for its shopping. Almost every big brand has a shop on this street, from Tiffany & Co. to Patagonia to Adidas. On the main street leading from Harajuku into Omotesando, there are even more shops, mostly designer brands like Chanel and Dior. Amongst all of those shops is a Christian presence, Tokyo Union Church. Meiji-Jingu, one of the largest Shintō shrines in Japan, is also located here, right next to the station. Millions of Japanese come to this shrine every January 1st to celebrate the New Year.
Pray for the fashion, coffee, and restaurant industries in this area, that believers would enter those spaces and spread truth. Pray against the materialism in Japanese culture, that people would care less about temporal things and more about eternal things. Pray that the strongholds Meiji-Jingu has on this area would be broken. Pray that these shrines would have no meaning, causing Japanese to seek and find truth and satisfaction in God alone. Pray for Tokyo Union Church to be a humble light in the midst of the surrounding extravagance.
20 SHIBUYA 渋谷
Shibuya is known as one of the fashion centers of Japan and is a major nightlife area with many different large malls and shopping centers. The statue of Hachiko the dog is a favorite meeting place. The scramble crossing in front of Shibuya Station is one of the busiest cross-walks in the world, with up to 2,500 people crossing at one time.
Tōkyō Baptist Church is close by in Daikanyama. Mustard Seed Tōkyō is located just outside of Shibuya Station. hi-b.a. is a ministry headquartered in Shibuya which reaches out to high school students with regular youth groups and summer camps.
Japan University of Economics is right next to Shibuya station. Aoyama Gakuin University, as well as United Nations University, are located between Shibuya and Omotesando stations. Aoyama was founded by missionaries and still has a Bible class. CCC missionaries often join Yamamoto-sensei’s class at Aoyama to meet students, even though Yamamoto-san is not a believer.
Pray for the hearts of the young people who are seeking their fulfillment in fashion, that they would find satisfaction instead in the Lord. Pray for those at TBC and Mustard Seed ministering to the Shibuya area. Pray for CCC and other campus ministries who minister to Aoyama students, and for Yamamoto-sensei himself to come to know Jesus. Pray for hi-b.a. to be transformative in the lives of Japanese high schoolers.
21 EBISU 恵比寿
Ebisu Station is named for the famous Yebisu Beer, which in turn is named for a Japanese god of fortune, fishermen, and honest laborers. Fashion shoppers, tourists, and photography-museum enthusiasts gravitate to this area in appreciation of the romantic European-style architecture and sophisticated culture.
Daikanyama is close to Ebisu as well and is considered one of the most trendy and popular areas of Tōkyō. Tōkyō Baptist Church and Daikanyama Church are in this area. Hillsong Tōkyō and Tōkyō International Church (mainly Chinese with about 400 members) are in Ebisu as well.
IMB’s office is here in Ebisu, where many office workers are helping people get new visas. Pray for them to have favor in getting visas.
Pray that those drawn to the beauty of artistic achievements will be drawn further still to see the matchless beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for the churches in this area to be light and preach the whole gospel.
22 MEGURO 目黒
Meguro (black-eyed) derives its name from one of five protective statues placed at strategic points on the outskirts of Edo. Each statue had eyes of a different color. These days Meguro is considered one of the more upscale and trendy areas in Tōkyō with many small restaurants and boutiques. Megurogawa is the river running through this area which is famous for sakura-viewing during the spring.
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“Five temples stand guard at strategic stations around the city of Tokyo, each at different points on a pentagram. Inside these five temples are five statues of the god Fudou; each statue has eyes of a different color, completing a magical circle of protection that guards the city from harm and ensures its prosperity. This mystical circuit is called the Goshiki Fudou—the Five Fudou Temples—and still protects Tōkyō to this day.”
This legend circles around five special colors in Buddhism—blue, red, white, black and yellow—and the belief is that putting these five colors together gives a certain sense of power. And using the god Fudou (whose Kanji means “immovable”) along with this pentagram of colors means great protection for the city.
However, is it possible that this pentagram of protection, in addition to the strategic placement of other temples and shrines around the city, ended up doing the opposite of protecting? It has perhaps created a geographical location that is spiritually oppressed and under constant darkness, not seeing the one true God.
The original purpose of PrayYamanote when it started in 2013 was to emulate Joshua and his army marching around Jericho until the walls fell. In the same way, our circular prayer around the city will break down these spiritual walls that have been erected by people who have devoted themselves to idols and lesser gods instead of to their creator and savior.
Churches in the area include Keisen Baptist Church, Meguro Catholic Church, Gyōninzaka UCCJ Church, Nakameguro UCCJ Church and Shirogane UCCJ Church.
Pray for God to release the Japanese people from their history of idol worship, that He would break the strongholds and allow the Japanese people to see Him as the truly Immovable God. Pray that people would see God as Creator during sakura season (and all seasons). Pray for the many churches in this area to preach the gospel with love.
23 GOTANDA 五反田
Gotanda is a busy neighborhood in the Shinagawa ward of Tōkyō, Japan. The name “Gotanda” can be literally translated as “a rice paddy of half-hectare’s size” (a ‘hectare’ being 10,000 square meters). Nowadays the rice paddies have been replaced by neighborhoods and a bustling city full of shopping and restaurants. Gotanda Church (UCCJ) is also in this area and seems to be the only church here. Seisen (清泉) University is here, a private women’s University.
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Seisen is a Catholic liberal arts university focusing in particular on women’s education. Its educational ideals are based on Christian Humanism, which means seeking to find what is meaningful and valuable in life, according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. The university’s motto, Veritas et Caritas, expresses the fundamental principles of seeking truth (Veritas) and realizing love through human service (Caritas). Guided by these principles, the University is committed to developing in women genuine wisdom, love and strength for the needs of the age. Seisen endeavors to nurture women to become responsible, independent and public-spirited members of society.
Pray for those working in this area, especially for busy men who can lose sight of their children and families. Pray for Seisen University staff and students, that the truth of Jesus would be sought after and found. Pray for Gotanda Church to preach the gospel fully and clearly.
24 ŌSAKI 大崎
Ōsaki station is the southernmost station on the Yamanote Line. In recent years Ōsaki has seen rapid development. The growth has been so rapid, in terms of construction, technology and business that major companies like Sony are moving to the area, making it extremely busy. The Japanese character for “busy” (忙) means to “annihilate your soul.”
Ōsaki New City, on the east side of the station, is connected to the station by a walkway, and has office buildings, a shopping mall, and a contemporary art museum. And just south of that is Gate City Ohsaki, another mall.
Shinagawa Baptist Church in this area is pastored by Tomonari Yamanaka. There is also a small Anglican church here called Tōkyō St. Mary’s Church.
On the west side of the station is Risshō University, which is one of the oldest universities in Japan and was founded in 1580!
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Risshō started as a seminary for priests of Nichiren Buddhism and became a university in the 1950s. Its motto is “1. Seek truth and show sincerity. 2. Value justice and reject evil. 3. Desire peace and serve humankind.” This is interesting because it sounds very much like a biblical worldview! This is one example of Japanese values matching up with Christian values really nicely—the only difference is the absence of Jesus, the source of that truth, justice and peace.
Pray for the diligent businessmen, that they won’t lose their souls, but will find life in Jesus. Pray for Tomonari Yamanaka of Shinagawa Baptist Church and for Tōkyō St. Mary’s Church. Pray for Risshō University students to find Jesus, the real source of truth, justice and peace.
25 SHINAGAWA 品川
Shinagawa is one of the oldest train stations in Tōkyō, having opened in 1872. If you look at the characters making up the word Shinagawa, they mean “goods” + “river,” which point to the fact that Shinagawa is a hub for business and trade. This station is also the main southern hub for all trains coming into Tōkyō from the south. This area is one of the fastest growing business districts in Tōkyō. As for Christian presence, New Community Church Tōkyō meets just east of the station and is pastored by Drew Cho.
Pray for God to break the bondage of overwork in this country that keeps the Japanese tired, weary and fearful of unrealized dreams. Ask the Lord to replace this with a desire for Him and His hope that is beyond this world! Pray that New Community Church would have influence in the Shinagawa area, and that Pastor Drew Cho would lead well as a humble servant to his community.
26 TAKANAWA GATEWAY 高輪ゲートウェイ
Takanawa Gateway is the newest station on the Yamanote Line which opened in the middle of 2020. It was named thus because of Takanawa’s historical status of being a “gateway to Edo,” while also serving as the site for the development of an international hub in the future. It’s the most energy-efficient and sustainable station in Tōkyō that combines traditional and modern architecture.
West of the station is Meiji Gakuin, a Christian University whose motto is “Do For Others.” Reverend James Curtis Hepburn founded the school in 1863 to “train people to spread Christianity in society.”
As for other Christian presence, Takanawa Church (UCCJ) is here.
Sengakuji is a Buddhist temple just west of the station and is the burial place of the legendary 47 Ronin Samurai.
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In March 1701, lord Asano Takuminokami of Ako (today’s Hyogo prefecture) attacked lord Kira Hozukenosuke at Edo castle. Asano lost patience after repeatedly being provoked and treated arrogantly by Kira, but failed to kill him in the attack. On the same day, Asano was sentenced to commit seppuku (切腹, ritual suicide), while Kira was not punished at all, despite the contemporary custom of punishing both parties in similar incidents. In addition, the whole Asano family was removed from power, leaving Asano’s samurai without a job and a strong will to avenge their unfairly punished master. [This is why they were called rōnin (浪人) which means “wandering person”.]
For over one and a half years, the samurai prepared the avenge under difficult circumstances. On December 14, 1702, the remaining group of 47 ronin under their leader Oishi Kuranosuke finally succeeded to avenge their master by killing lord Kita in his mansion. Afterwards, they carried Kira’s head to Sengakuji, and were later sentenced to commit seppuku. japan-guide.com
Pray that this new station would be a gateway for the gospel to be preached among the Japanese people in this area and throughout Tōkyō. Pray for Meiji Gakuin students to truly find Jesus. Pray for Takanawa Church to preach the gospel boldly. Pray that Sengakuji would not have a hold on this area and that light would invade darkness.
27 TAMACHI 田町
Comfortably unpretentious, Tamachi is an area for everyday business-people and students. Small businesses and schools, including the prestigious Keio University, surround Tamachi Station, shielding relatively quiet neighborhoods nestled behind the bustling streets full of ordinary people. Aiiku (愛育) Hospital is here as well, where many missionaries have had their babies and received treatment.
Pray that believers in Tōkyō will have discernment in how to reach everyday people with the gift of the Gospel of Christ. Pray for students at Keio University and other universities. Pray for the doctors at Aiiku who see many Christians.
28 HAMAMATSUCHŌ 浜松町
The station is partially under and directly connected to Tōkyō’s World Trade Center. Pokémon Center Tōkyō, the official Pokémon store, is located here. Acty Shiodome, the fourth tallest residential building in Japan, is a 3-minute walk to the north. Two beautiful gardens grace this area. This is also the closest station to Tōkyō Tower and Shibakoen Park next to it, along with Zōzōji Temple. Right next to the station is Bunka Housou, a radio broadcasting company, which has a Christian broadcast on Sunday mornings called “Yo no Hikari” (“Light of the World”). In the shadow of Tōkyō Tower are two Anglican churches right next to one another.
Pray that the businessmen and women at the World Trade Center would find fulfillment in God alone, that believers working there would be bold in proclaiming their faith. Pray for Pokémon enthusiasts, Japanese and foreigners alike, that they would be satisfied by God alone. Pray for the Christian presence here, including St. Alban’s Anglican Church and the Light of the World radio show to influence this area and Tōkyō as a whole.
29 SHIMBASHI 新橋
During the early years of the Meiji era Shimbashi was best known for its geisha houses and restaurants. It was also the Tōkyō terminus of the first railway in Japan in 1872. Locals now know Shimbashi as the businessman’s paradise. It’s filled with office towers and packed with tiny eateries and bars, exactly the type of places that businessmen like. In many ways Shimbashi is the real Tōkyō: office workers that fuel the city’s massive economy come here for work and play.
Karasumori Shrine is just outside the west side of the station, which has a history stretching back 1,000 years. Shiba Church is a UCCJ church a little further west of the station. Jikei University School of Medicine is also in west Shimbashi. The Hamarikyū Gardens, which at one point were Imperial Gardens, are just south-east of the station. Many media companies (Nihon TV, Asahi News) are in the Shiodome neighborhood just east of the station. Kannō-san is a pastor who often does street evangelism in Shimbashi and other areas of the city.
Pray that office workers will be released from the idolatry of career and seek their life goal in Christ. Pray that Christian businessmen would forge deep friendships while spending time with coworkers here. Pray that the shrine in this area would have less influence, and that the church would have more influence, preaching the gospel wholly and boldly. Pray for students at the medical school to find Jesus in their studies. Pray for Christians in those media companies to have strength to share their faith boldly. Pray for God to use Kannō-san’s street evangelism ministry to save Japanese people.
30 YŪRAKUCHŌ 有楽町
Yūrakuchō is the closest stop on the Yamanote line to the National Diet of Japan, the Supreme Court, the Prime Minister’s residence and the Sakuradamon gate of the Imperial Palace. Hibiya Park, one of the most beautiful parks in Tōkyō, is on the southwest side of the station. Underneath the train tracks are many small restaurants and bars that are popular with businessmen in the area. On the east side of the station is Ginza, which is known as one of the most ritzy areas of the city with many designer stores and expensive restaurants.
Pray for the current Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida (in 2022). Pray for more Japanese Christians to have political influence in Japan. Pray for the few Christians who are serving in the Japanese government to be bold in their faith. Pray for the businessmen in the area, and for ministries like Carlton’s and Kazu’s ministry to be effective in reaching those people with the gospel. Pray against materialism in Japanese culture, that people shopping and working in the Ginza area would come to know Jesus as the only one who satisfies.