Located in the same district as the famous Tsukiji Fish Market, the Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple is a Buddhist temple that falls under the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha denomination of Buddhism. The Honzan, or “mother temple,” of this denomination lies in Kyoto. This temple is extremely unique and well known for its “Indian architectural motif” which, in my opinion, makes the temple look somewhat like a government building on the outside, and resembles a church on the inside.
The original temple, which used to be called the “Edo Asakusa Gobo,” was built in 1617 in Yokohama. Unfortunately, due to the Great Fire of 1657, the temple burned to the ground. After the fire, the area went under reconstruction and sadly, the temple was not given a spot to be rebuilt. Instead of rebuilding in Yokohama, the temple was given a piece of land off the shore of Hacchobori. This was reclaimed land, and therefore the temple decided to go by the new name, “Tsukiji Gobo,” with the word “Tsukiji” translating to “built-up land.” Because of this temple’s new name, the surrounding area took on the same name of Tsukiji.
Unfortunately, the temple was not safe yet. In 1923, the temple was destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake. The temple that sits there now was completed in 1934 and has thankfully survived since.
This temple is definitely a sight to see. The architecture is absolutely stunning and unlike any other temple in Japan. The inside of the building is full of gorgeous chandeliers, beautiful furniture, and even a gigantic pipe organ in the main hall. The atmosphere of this temple is completely different than other temples and is certainly worth experiencing. Because of this temples great location, it is a perfect place to stop on your way to lunch at the fish market. Not only will you learn more about Buddhism, but the temple plays a big role in the neighborhood’s history which is worth recognizing.
|The Tokyo Metoro HIbiya Line at Tsukiji