Zojo-ji Temple & Shiba Park, Tokyo
If you are coming from Tokyo Tower, and walk to the Zojoji Temple, you'll pass the cemetery. This quite impressive graveyard, completely different of what I saw. The most interest me that each grave has those sticks with print in it. It seems that common for Buddhist graveyard, this cemetery is pretty small but is the nicest place I saw. It wasn't pretty big and is nice to walk around. I've never seen so a clean graveyard as this
The graves are made from marble if I'm not wrong. As I've read about it, in Japan almost everyone cremated. The urn is sometimes after a while buried in a Buddhist cemetery. According to a recent statement from a Japanese funeral home is less than 1% of the deceased buried. This is mainly because there are no room to be found to bury someone
The park around the temple well worth to explore, here you'll find Jizo Statues - These statues represent the unborn children of Japan including but not limited to miscarried and stillborn. Parents can choose a statue in the garden and decorate it with clothing and toys. Jizo, the guardian of unborn children ensures that they are brought to the afterlife. Statues are colourful and sad at the same time.
A mausoleum on the temple grounds of the Tokugawa family can be found in where bodies of the 2nd shogun Tokugawa Hidetada, the 5th shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi etc are placed. Tokugawa clan Mausoleum which is not normally open to the public apart from on certain days each year.
How to get there: The closest subway stations are Onarimon or Shibakoen Station on the Mita Subway Line and Daimon Station on the Oedo Subway Line. The temple can also be reached in a ten minute walk from Hamamatsucho Station on the JR Yamanote and JR Keihin-Tohoku Line. Hours and Fees 9:00 to 17:00 No closing days Admission: Free
Visiting to this temple may combine with the Tokyo Tower. The tower is also right behind the temple grounds.The temple with Tokyo tower in the background presented for some great contrast pictures between old and new Japan though. The temple is set in attractive gardens surrounded by Shiba park
In the main hall which forms the core of the Buddhist compound of Zojoji, was rebuilt in 1974 by combining traditional Buddhist temple architecture with modern architecture. Enshrined in this hall is a large main image of Amida Buddha made during the Muromachi Period around 14th - 16th century with an image of the great teacher Shan-tao (who perfected China’s Pure Land Buddhism) at its right and an image of Honen Shonin (who founded Jodo Shu) at its left.
Funnily enough, this place was located around 15 minutes walk from my office in Tokyo, and I never visited in the entire time I was living in Tokyo.
It's far from overcrowded and well worth a look if you are visiting nearby Tokyo tower.
It's a shortish walk also from Hamamatsu-cho station.
Zojoji Temple is the head of the Jodo sect of Buddhism in Kanto. The current hondo was reconstructed in 1974 and many of the other buildings are also new. The Sangedatsumon Gate however, dates back to 1622. This is the only structure here that has survived since the Edo Period. The objects of worship within the hondo are also ancient (Muromachi Period), despite the hondo itself being new.
The temple contains a mausoleum for the Tokugawas because it was made a Tokugawa family temple by Tokugawa Ieyasu. There are 6 Tokugawa shoguns, a princess, and some shoguns' wives and children buried here.
Although I don't think it was planned this way, the borrowed scenery of Tokyo Tower behind the temple has made it into a nice photo-op. Many people like to come here to get a picture of the temple with the tower behind it.
Entrance is free, so it's a nice stop for those going to Kyoto Tower.
Zojoji Temple, located next to Shiba Park and just a bit down the hill from Tokyo Tower, is incredible. The temple grounds are vast (I think larger even than Senso-ji) and a delight to the senses. The first thing we noticed was rank upon rank of stone statues, all wearing little red hats and most with those colorful whirly-gig toys next to them. So we were very curious, and although there was no mention of them in the little booklet we picked up, Mishu learned that they are called Ojizo, the subject of a touching little Japanese fairy tale, which you can read at http://www.japanippon.com/fairytales/jizo.htm. Then we saw this massive bell -- ten feet high, weighing fifteen tons -- which is tolled twice a day, six times each in the early morning and in the evening. It dates to 1673; the temple complex was founded in 1393 but most of the buildings were destroyed in World War II air raids. Only the main gate, constructed in 1622, survives. There are numerous tombs of Tokugawa shoguns and their families on the grounds. We didn't get to see what promised to be the most fascinating feature of the interior, the revolving octagonal-shaped book shelves, because you had to climb a lot of steps and with a baby carriage and an ailing mother, that didn't seem like the wisest course of action. I'd very much like to return to spend a longer period of time getting to know the Temple complex in more detail.
As we walked towards Tokyo Tower, we stumbled upon this Zojoji temple.
Apparently it is quite a major temple in Tokyo.
And more importantly, it has Tokyo Tower as it's background.
So we waited till dark and took some great photos of the temple with Tokyo Tower in the background.
There were lotsa cute Jizo statues in the temple cemetery.
Inside Zojozi Temple you can take a photo of cedar tree that was planted by the 18th president of USA General Ulysses S. Grant, when he visited the temple as a guest of the nation in 1879. There’s also Cedar tree planted by George H.W Bush in 1982 when he was the vice president (see photo).
There are hundreds of colourfully clothed and decorated stone jizo (Ojizo Sama) statues. The Jizo statues are used in the ceremonies for burial of infants and special ceremonies for the souls of unborn and stillborn children.
Traditionally Jizo is seen as the guardian of children, particularly children who died before their parents. He is one of the most loved divinities in Japan.
When I saw the rows of the colourful statues it felt strange, you can almost feel the spirits. Yeah you probably right it could be my imagination.
I thought the Zojoji Temple is worth visiting. As you approached the temple ground you’ll walk through the 1605 impressive Chinese Tang Dynasty style gate Sangedatsumon. The temple has beautiful parks and garden surrounded by trees and flowers. There are Cedar trees planted by General Grant and George Bush. The statues of jizobosatusu, the protector of the souls of stillborn, graveyards and mausoleum of the Tokugawa family, the Daibonsho the big bell can be found on the temple grounds. There are other statues representing the Buddhist Temple of the Jodo Shu sect at the temple ground. Inside the temple you’ll see the decorative golden alter.
Zojoji Temple is a Buddhist Temple originally of Chinzai sect of Shingon and change to the Jodo Shu sect in 1393. During the Edo period, Zojoji served as the temple of the Tokugawa family. The temple was badly damaged in World War II. The building was reconstructed in 1974.
This temple in Shibuya Park is dedicated to the memory of children that are still born. Each of the little doll statues represent a memorial from the families of the children. I am not an emotional person but must admit this place got to me a little, seeing the rows and rows of dolls and knowing what it meant.
Zojoji Temple is located just about a 5 mins walk from Tokyo Tower. The temple was founded in 1393 and it belong to the Jodo Buddhist Sect. Zojoji was destroyed in 1945 and were replaced by replicas.
The deepest impression of Zojoji Temple is not the structure but the rows of little statues of Jizobosatsu dressed in red knitted baby clothing, caps and holding a toy windmill. They are said to be the protector of the souls of stillborn child.
A cedar tree that was planted by President Ulysses S Grant in 1879 is found in the garden near the Sanmon. A huge temple bell casted in 1673 can be found in the garden.
Zojoji Temple is located just about a 5 mins walk from Tokyo Tower.
I like this temple most in Tokyo. Its not only because of its famous name but alos it is well-situated in the best part of Tokyo (Shiba park). Its not far from Imperial Palace. It is also near Tokyo tower where you can see many cherry-blossom trees. My father's funeral was performed here.
Just a minute walk from our hotel is the imposing SANGENDATSUMON, the main gate to the Zojoji Temple.
According to the Zojoji site, the gate has been designated by the State as an important cultural property. Its name - Sangendatsumon - means a gate (mon) for getting delivered (gedatsu) from three (san) earthly states of man - greed, anger and stupidity.
Zojoji was founded in 1393 as an orthodox and fundamental nembutsu seminary for Jodo shu in the Kanto (east Japan) region.(source-http://www.zojoji.or.jp/en/index.html)
This gate is very significant to our trip to Tokyo as it also served as our landmark on our way back to the hotel especially after a tiring day's walking tour! It is a pleasant tour here especially as you don't have to pay any admission fees too!
I also read somewhere that the gardens around the temple used to be the hunting grounds of the shogun Ieyasu. This temple is quirky yet magical as the sculptured gardens and water features entertained even my robust and pesky boys!
There are are exquisite statutes, colourful flowers and trimmed trees. There are also tombstone like monuments with Japanese symbols and rows and rows of little statues with mostly red flowers and with beanies!
The latter are jizobos, protector of the souls of stillborn babies!They are more like angels if you liken them to Christian religion, I think.
Tokyo tower is a bit matter-of-fact during the day.
But see it in the night. So brightly lit!
It's so Romantic, so often used for filming.
You can also see it from Shinbashi, Toranomon and other areas near there.