Tamagawa Daishi temple

Attraction 4-13-3 Seta, Setagaya 158-0095, Tokyo Published on: 26-02-2016

1 hours 30 mins
09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
09:00 AM
10:30 AM
Second-time visit
Temple & Monument
1.00 USD

Tamagawa Daishi temple is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
Tamagawa Daishi Temple, a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect, is official known as Gyokushin Mitsuin Temple. It is famous for its 300 candlelit statues of Kannon.

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Why Tamagawa Daishi temple is special ?

Tamagawa Daishi is an ordinary and unremarkable temple in the suburbs of Tokyo. Ordinary that is, except for the secret that’s hidden underneath. A twisting stone tunnel snakes through the ground below, aiming to provide visitors with a unique spiritual experience, and bring them closer to enlightenment.

Tamagawa Daishi Temple, officially known as Gyokushin Mitsuin Temple, is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect which was built in 1925. This temple is famous for its 300 candlelit statues of Kannon, that are placed along a dark twisting corridor which represents the intestines of Vairocana Buddha.

What to explore at Tamagawa Daishi temple?

From the outside the temple looks nothing special. It’s surrounded by houses, and has a pleasant enough garden, with a few Buddhas and some gongs and bells you can ring. But there’s no clue that it’s anything out of the ordinary until you head inside, where there’s a staircase leading downwards. After depositing \100 in a tray at the top, you descend five metres underground, and rapidly find yourself in total darkness. You won’t even be able to see your hand when you hold it in front of your face. Please don’t panic – this is supposed to help you appreciate the divinity of light.

Stretch out your hand, and feel your way along. The narrow tunnel makes several twists and turns, before coming to a candlelit chamber full of statues. If you count them, you will find there are 88. They represent the 88 temples on a traditional pilgrimage route around the island of Shikoku. That pilgrimage normally takes several weeks on foot, but here you can do the whole thing in seconds.

Beyond this chamber, there’s more darkness and more twists and turns. Then there are giant stone Buddhas, a candlelit corridor containing 300 small Buddhas, each with his own individual demeanour, and another chamber containing 33 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. Finally you’ll reach the exit, where you can ring a bell to signal your completion of the pilgrimage, and emerge once more into daylight.

Source: http://www.unmissablejapan.com/

How to get to Tamagawa Daishi temple?

Tamagawa Daishi Temple is ten minute’s walk from Futako-Tamagawa Station on the Tokyo Den-en-Toshi Line, just 14 minute’s from Shibuya Station in central Tokyo. If you’re in Tokyo, it really is well worth a visit, but if you’re in Nagano instead, there’s a similar tunnel there at Zenko-ji Temple.

Source: http://www.unmissablejapan.com/

Selling points

  • Unique spiritual experience
  • Candlelit statues
  • Giant stone Buddhas
  • Worth of sightseeing
  • Chambers of statues
9 day self-drive trip in Tokyo for family with kids

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9.0 days
1,379.63 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
28 places




4-13-3 Seta, Setagaya 158-0095, Tokyo

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