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Why Zozo-ji Temple is special ?
To start with Zojoji is very picturesque. It is surrounded by trees and with Tokyo Tower and the Atago Green Hills skyscraper nearby you get a nice feeling as you move from the busy outside world into something more peaceful. Zojoji and Tokyo Tower are in a strange kind of partnership as it is actually difficult not to have the Tower in a shot, as it big and really looms over the temple!
The two gates connected with temple are also great for photos. One is named, Sangedatsu, and it is one of the few original structures that remain from when Zojoji was first built. Huge, and in that red colour it provides another great place for pics and passing through it is supposed to rid you of greed, hatred and foolishness. The other is simply named, Great Gate (or in Japanese “Daimon”) that is about five hundred meters away from the temple entrance. While Daimon is only a concrete reconstruction, it is very popular as Tokyo Tower is pretty visible in the background! It is a little special as a bit further along that same road is Daiichi-Keihin, a major road which follows the approximate same route as the historical, “Tokaido” which was the main highway between Kyoto and Edo (the old name for Tokyo).
What to explore at Zozo-ji Temple?
What else can you see at Zojoji?
1) Tokugawa Mausoleum where you can see the graves of six of the Japan’s fifteen shoguns plus some of their wives and concubines. They call it a mausoleum, but I’ve always understood a mausoleum to be a building with a tomb or tombs inside, whereas this a just a small cemetery with tombs inside a walled area. It has guided tours (in Japanese) at 10:15am, 11.15am, 1:30pm and 2:30pm;
2) Zojoji Treasures Gallery which houses a 1/10 scale replica of the Taitokuin mausoleum that was displayed. It was originally created for the 1910 Japan-British Exhibition in London. The attention to detail is quite amazing and it is surrounded by wall hangings that are very interesting as well.
3) There are also two special trees. One was planted by President Grant (the 18th American president) during his visit to Japan in 1879. The other was planted by former president George H. W. Bush when he visited Japan as vice-president in 1982.
4) There is also a memorial to the people who lost their lives in the Hotel New Japan fire, which was huge news in Japan in 1982.
How to get to Zozo-ji Temple?
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.
- Graves of the Tokugawa Shoguns
- Beautiful Buddhist temple
- Close to tokyo tower
- Nice background photo
- Lovely temple
4-7-35 Shibakoen, Minato, Tokyo 105-0011, Japan
Tips for you
You don't have to pay entrance fees. Just go in to a small Point of silence where you have a very good view to the Tokyo Tower with the temple in the front. For cherry blossom it's the most beautiful time to go there! So if you want to have difefrent characteric parts of Japan in one Picture, go there and let this inspire you!
We did this right before leaving Japan since is was next to the hotel. Beautiful large temple complex in Shiba park in the shadow of the Tokyo Tower. Free and accessible to all with less crowds than the very well known temples