Zojoji Temple (増上寺) is one of Tokyo’s (東京) few bigger temple-structures within the city. It is the head temple of the Jodo sect which is part of Japanese Buddhism in the Kanto Region.
They originally constructed Zojoji Temple in 1393, which since lived through multiple destructions and reconstructions due to war and fires.
However, the temple’s main entrance, the Sangedatsumon, never suffered considerable damage and is thus still in its former beauty.
But the special thing about Zojoji temple is that Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu personally chose it to be the temple for his family.
As a consequence, 6 Tokugawa Shogun and other family members are buried in the temple mausoleum located in the back of the temple grounds.
Visiting Zojoji Temple
The Tokugawa Shogun were one of the if not the most famous line of Shogun in feudal Japan (日本). During their reign, this temple enjoyed immense importance and it is still kept in high regard today.
When visiting Zojoji, you can make use of the usual rituals and behaviors described in this article about visiting a Japanese temple. And always be sure to stay respectful!
Furthermore, Tokyo Tower lies right beside the temple, making the two of them a pleasant combination opportunity.
In addition, Shiba Park (芝公園), a smaller but wonderful park, is located next to the temple as well.
Opening Hours & Admission Fee
- Opened every day from 9:00 to 17:00
- There are no closing days throughout the year
- Admission is free of charge!
How to get to Zojoji Temple
There are two possibilities you can choose from:
- From Tokyo Station (東京駅), take the JR Yamanote Line for 7 minutes and 160 Yen (1,21€/$1.42) and get off at Hamatsucho Station (浜松町駅). From here, it’s only about 10 minutes of walking until you reach the temple!
- Starting from Tokyo Station again, walk to the nearby Otemachi Station, about 9 minutes northwest. From there, take the Mita line for 7 minutes and 180 Yen to arrive at Shibakoen Station. Exiting the station, you have pretty much arrived at the park and the temple is only a 5-minute walk.
For those interested in Japan’s history and traditions, this is absolutely the place to go.
Encountering such an important historical structure is quite rare in modern Tokyo nowadays. The focus has shifted towards other, more modern things.
Still, the temples that Tokyo has are widely appreciated and give a nice change of pace from the metropolitan vibe a city of Tokyo’s size expresses.
So even if you’re just able to visit Tokyo on your first trip, you do not have to totally miss out on the beauty of Japanese temples, because Zojoji and Sensoji have got your back.
Highly recommended, especially in combination with the surrounding Shiba Park and the nearby Tokyo Tower.
That’s it for this article, thank you very much for reading!
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For my next post, we are going to take a look at the infamous Gion (祇園) district in traditional Kyoto (京都)!
See you there!