If you have an ache or an ailment that has been bugging you, a visit to the Togenuki Jizo Kouganji Temple may just be the cure you need. Millions visit the historic Buddhist temple, located minutes by foot from Sugamo Station on the JR Yamanote Line, to pay their respects each year.
The chief Buddhist image of the temple is the Enmei Jizo Bosatsu who, legend has it, has the powers to miraculously heal illnesses and extend one's life. The name Togenuki, meanwhile, means "thorn removal," and has its roots in Japanese folklore. A housemaid once accidentally swallowed a needle, which she managed to spit out after ingesting a piece of paper that bore the image of the Jizo deity. You can still buy this talisman, known as the osugata, at the temple—though a more common practice now is to apply it on a bothersome body part.
Also, join in the worshippers seeking protection from the Arai Kannon statue, or the "washing deity." It is said that your ailments will disappear if you pour water on, and then polish with a cloth, the same part of the statue as the area that has been bothering you.