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Zojoji Temple

Properly known as the San'en-zan Kodo-in Zojoji , this is the main temple of the Jodo (Pure Land) sect of Buddhism established by Honen in 1175. Zojoji was founded in 1393 and moved to its present site in 1598 by Tokugawa Ieyasu. It became the family temple of the Tokugawa family and an administrative center governing the religious studies and activities of Jodo sect.

In its heyday, Zojoji extended over an area of 826,000 m2 and had 3000 priests and students of Buddhism dispersed over 48 minor temples and 150 schools on its precincts. It remains one of Japan's most important Buddhist temple. The mausoleum of the 6 Tokugawa shogun entombed there and several temples were destroyed by air raids during World War II.


Zojoji's main gate was built in 1622 and designated by the State as important cultural property. It is one of the largest temple gate in Tokyo, measuring 21m in height, 28.7m in width and 17.6m in depth. The name 'Sangedatsumon' means "gate delivering from three earthly states of man : greed, anger and stupidity.


The temple bell or "daibonsho" was cast in 1673. It is 3,33m high, weights 15 tons and is renowned as one of the Big Three Bells of the Edo Period. Other buildings The Kyozo (sutra storehouse) was built in 1613 and remodelled in 1800. The Sandaizokyo (tripitaka), Daizokyo (three principal collections of the Buddhist canon), So-ban and Gen-ban, used to be kept here, but are now stored in a newer building behind it. Other buildings include the Koshoden (lecture hall), Ankokuden and the Mausoleum of Tokugawa Shoguns.

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Tokyo city tour:3-8-10, Rivera 8F, Kayabacho, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan