ZOJO JI TEMPLE, Tour

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Zojoji offers you the chance to not only visit a splendid temple, but also to attend various Buddhist ceremonies that take place daily in the shrines and the gardens.

The moment you enter, you’ll be met with the magnificent, original, two-story vermillion-lacquered gate, 21 meters high, almost 29 meters wide and with a depth of 17 and a half meters, it was built in 1622, and is the oldest wooden construction in Tokyo.

Its name, Sangedatsumon, means “gate that delivers the mind from greed, hatred and foolishness”. The statues of Buddha and other deities you can see on the gate are also original.

Inside the temple, you’ll immediately find the main hall, or Daiden. It was rebuilt in 1974, combining the temple’s traditional architecture with a more modern style. A large statue of Buddha is displayed in this room; on its right is an image of the great master who perfected Pure Land Buddhism, Shan-tao, and on the left, you can see a statue of Honen Shonin, the founder of the Jodo School. The hall hosts seminars, religious rites and memorial services.

Another particularly interesting building is of course the Mausoleum of the Tokugawa Shogun, with the tombs of six governors of the Tokugawa Dynasty, the Imperial Princess Kazunomiya, and other wives and children of the shoguns of Edo.

The interiors of the Koshoden Seminary are well worth a visit. They feature a coffered ceiling with paintings of plants and flowers, donated by 120 Japanese artists, and the small Ankokuden Temple, which houses the Black Image of the Amitabha Buddha. This image was devoutly worshipped by the founder of the Tokugawa dynasty, and is said to have always protected him in battle.

 

An interesting fact: look out for the Daibonsho, the large bell built in 1673, with a diameter of 1.76 meters, a height of 3.33 meters and a weight of 15 tons. It is rung twice a day, morning and evening, with six peals to remind the faithful to purify themselves from the 103 earthly passions that tempt Man away from the path of rectitude.  

 

Our visit to the Zojoji Temple ends here. MyWoWo would like to thank you - see you again at another Wonder of the World!

 

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