In Yanaka, one of the most visited temples in the area is the Gokokusan Tennoji Temple.
Belonging to the Tendai sect of Buddhism and founded in 1274, the temple is right across from the Yanaka Cemetery near Nippori Station.
Originally as part of the Temple premises, one of the reasons why people come to visit the temple is to see the bronze Buddha which was constructed by Ota Kyuemon in 1690.
When the Buddhist saint Nicheren stayed at the house of Seki Nagateru, the lord of the area, he carved a sculpture of himself and Nagateru built a hermitage in which he enshrined the sculpture.
This is the origin of the Tennoji Temple (originally called Kanno-ji), which is said to have been established during the Muromachi period between 1394 and 1427.
Tennoji Temple is one of the few temples founded before the Edo period (1600-1868), so Tennoji is one of the few ancient temples left in Tokyo.
The temple name was changed in 1833 in accordance to a decree by the Tokugawa government and was changed and its sect was altered from the Nicheren sect of Buddhism to the Tendai sect.
The temple was where public lotteries were held there along with the Ryusenji Temple in Meguro and Yushima Tenjin Shrine in Ueno and the three were known as the “Three Lotteries”.