Have you ever had a paranormal experience in Tokyo? We’ve rounded up some of the best psychic locations and ghost stories in central Tokyo, including a haunted tree stump, a gymnasium, and a hospital.
In Japanese, a haunted place is known as 心霊スポット, or shinrei. Around summer and Halloween, many paranormal enthusiasts visit these places when the sun goes down, hoping to feel the spiritual impact of past events and maybe even spot a ghost or two.
Remember that whenever you decide to visit a shinrei place, be sure to take the necessary precautions, especially if the place is abandoned. If the area is owned by someone, be sure to get permission before going there. Good hunt…
Kinuta Park: The Case of the Haunted Tree Stump (Setagaya)
Kinuta Park is a favorite of local families, art lovers and cherry blossom lovers, but contrary to its idyllic image, Kinuta Park is the home of a vengeful demon.
The park was built on the site of a former 第六天 airokuten (Sixth Heaven of Buddhism, aka the Demon King) and the surrounding ancient forest. Dairokuten shrines became widespread during the Edo period and were built to pray to the gods of indulgence and excess. Due to the sinful connotations of dairokuten, most were destroyed or treated as shrines to more popular gods, so very few remain today.
The site of the ancient dairokuten shrine and its forest in Kinuta Park is almost completely unrecognizable but a few clues remain. One of these clues is an innocent-looking tree stump in the Okamoto area, next to the Tomei Expressway. This stump is believed to be an original part of the ancient dairokuten forest and anyone who touches it will be cursed. On Google Maps, this place is called たたりの森’tatari-no-mori’ or “Vengeful Ghost Forest”. Who named him exactly that remains unclear.
Take a trip and see if you are brave enough to touch the tree stump on your own. To find it, follow the pin at Google Map that we created. YesYou can even see a usual curve in the otherwise straight road on the map. Was it because even the road construction workers were too scared to remove the tree? This article (in Japanese only) gives additional guidance on how to reach the stump.
Shinrei ranking: 👻👻
Horyuji-zaka: The Case of Haunted Hill (Shinjuku)
According to urban legend, Tokyo has several 幽霊坂 yurei-zaka (phantom slopes). These slopes are said to be home to ghostly spirits and the brave ghost hunters who have attempted to climb safely from bottom to top.
Horyuji-zaka in Shinjuku is one of them and has been the reported source of many ghost sightings since the Meiji period. In the Edo period, the area was called 七軒寺町shichiken-tera-machi and housed temples, including the Horyuji Temple – where the Horyuji-zaka stands today. The hills leading to these temples were often purposely built to be incredibly steep, providing plenty of time to concentrate before reaching the temple itself.
These days, the hill is lined with modern apartments, so it’s hard to believe that people come here to scare themselves. Try heading here this Hallows Eve to see if you can catch anything spawning off the steps.
Shinrei ranking: 👻
Ok for the sensitive souls
Tamai Hospital: The Case of the Abandoned Hospital (Shibuya)
Near the center of everyone’s favorite party spot, Shibuya, sits a television studio with an unusual past. It was once the site of a working hospital called Tamai Hospital. The medical facility was closed many years ago and it sat abandoned for years before being turned into a TV studio – and not just any TV studio: a TV hospital studio. Yes, this is where TV crews go to film gruesome dramas, fake surgeries and more. And not just standard surgery rooms and patient wards – the fifth floor contains large metal cages.
These days, the hospital is only used for make-believe, but its former patients may still be there. Tamai Hospital Studio is known among local film crews as a spooky place filled with paranormal activity. There are many stories of people entering the building and suffering severe headaches or seeing curtains close, and countless other tales of feeling an otherworldly presence.
Shinrei ranking: 👻👻👻👻👻
Don’t come here alone
Musashino’s Fourth JH School: The Case of the Haunted Gymnasium
In 1944, towards the end of World War II, the Americans turned to the bombing of the Nakajima Musashi Aircraft Engine Factory, which was responsible for about 30% of Japan’s aircraft production at the time. The factory and its surroundings were repeatedly bombed, killing more than 200 people in the last year of World War II. To this day, there is a sobering Musashi factory memorial standing in Musashino Central Park, which is the location of the old factory. The memorial and surrounding area is an infamous shinrei location, with many paranormal incidents and unexplained accidents.
Near the former Musashi Factory site is Musashino Fourth High School, which was once part of Keio Medical University. The school gymnasium is said to be the site of the university’s former laboratory and is now a hotspot for strange paranormal activity. Among the students, it is said that there is a secret staircase leading to the old university morgue, and sometimes you can smell the smell of chemicals used in past procedures.
Shinrei ranking: 👻👻👻
Not for the faint of heart
Sanatorium: the case of the ghostly park
Ekoda Forest Park is a lovely place to spend an afternoon, snacking on a picnic or walking your dog, but at night it’s a destination for brave ghost hunters to test their mettle.
On the site of the current park, once stood a military hospital converted into a sanatorium which treated patients suffering from incurable lung diseases at the time, such as tuberculosis. From the Meiji period until the mid-1940s, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in Japan, killing more than 100,000 people each year. The majority of the victims were young male soldiers and factory workers.
In 1993, the hospital closed for good and merged with Shinjuku Medical Center, although the reason for its closure remains a mystery. One theory is that the hospital was used as a dumping ground to dispose of organs that had been used in secret experiments, unbeknownst to the unsuspecting public, and this is what ultimately led to the hospital’s closure. .
Today stands a small memorial stone in its place; the only thing that suggests this is a site that has witnessed the horrors of death and disease…or is it?
Among psychics, ghost hunters, and even dog walkers, there have been many ghostly sightings and evidence of paranormal activity. Shivers down the spines of those who enter, the ghost of a woman pointing to evil spirits, unexplained bites on a dog’s head…