The One about Gokokusan Tennoji Temple in Yanaka

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 […]

The One about Daikokuten Kyooji Temple in Yanaka

In Yanaka, near Nippori Station, is a temple called Daikokuten Kyooji Temple. While not a huge temple, the temple does date back from the Edo Period and inside, there is a statue of Daitokuten, one of the Seven Lucky Gods (shichifukujin).  The statue is said to have been carved by Nichiren (1222-1282) himself (a tale that is really not possible). Daitokuten is considered to be the God of Earth, Agriculture, […]

The One about Chomyoji Temple in Yanaka and the Copper Bell

While walking through Yanaka, I passed by an area that I wasn’t sure if there was anything significant inside. Yanaka is so full of tradition like for every few feet you walk, there is a temple and a shrine that you will most likely visit.  But there are also residences that you will be visiting and you may or may not be sure if it’s open to the public. Also, […]

The One about Emmei-in Temple in Yanaka

In 1648 Misawa no Tsubone, the west nurse of Tokugawa Ietsuna, 4th Shogun of the Tokugawa Dynasty, founded Emmei-in Temple in Yanaka.  The Nichiren Buddhist Temple was established as a bettoji, a temple attached to a Shinto shrine (typically in Japan, temples and shrines are separate). Back then, a priest named Eshoin Nitcho prayed for a safe delivery when Tokugawa Ietsuna was born.  Misawa no Tsubone made a donation to […]

The One about the Tomb of Kano Hogai in Yanaka

In yesterday’s post, I discussed the Okakura Tenshin Memorial Site in Yanaka and how he started the Japan Art Institute (Nihon Bijutsuin). But not far from the Memorial Site is the Tomb of Kano Hogai, a famouse Japanese painter of the early Meiji era. A painter of the Kano school, he is one of the last Kano painters and his paintings show experimentation of Western methods and styles. But with […]

The One about the Okakura Tenshin Memorial Park Site of Okakura Tenshin’s Residence in Yanaka

Okakura Kakuzo (a.k.a. Okakura Tenshin) was a Japanese scholar who is known for the development of arts in Japan. Best known for his book “The Book of Tea”, Okakura was a scholar who learned English while attending a school which was operated by a Christian missionary named Dr. Curtis Hepburn.  At the age of 15, he was a student at Tokyo Imperial University in 1875 and studied under Harvard-educated professor […]

The One about Tennoji Goju-no-tou Ato in Yanaka

Not far from Tennoji Temple and the Yanaka Cemetery is the ruins of the Tennoji Goju-no-tou Ato, the site of the beautiful five-storied pagoda.  A cultural landmark of Yanaka. While walking through Yanaka, I noticed a group looking at a section across from the cemetery. Many of them were people in their 70s and 80s and I could hear them discussing how they remember the pagoda and looking at these […]