Thursday, March 22, 2007

29. Temple Review: Gokoku-ji (Bunkyo-ku)

Gokoku-ji Temple was built in 1681 by the 5th Tokugawa Shogun, Tsunayoshi. It was built at the request of his mother, Keishoin. Spared from earthquakes, fires, and WWII; the main temple (Kannon-do) is designated as important cultural properties of Japan.A large cemetery, Toshimagaoka, surrounds the temple. The Emperor Meiji declared Gokoku-ji the Imperial mausoleum in 1873. Several of his children, and Emperor Meiji himself, are buried there.

Gokoku-ji also oversees the practice of Japanese tea ceremony in all the country's temples. On the day I visited, there were many women visitors in kimono.

The temple was built on the top of a hill and it is said that there was once a nice view of Edo Castle from its grounds. Now the view is of office buildings down Otowa-dori.

This temple is not a famous tourist spot, very few foreigners have even heard of it. I would recommend visiting the temple, then take a walk downhill through Meijirodai and Sekiguchi, until you reach the Four Seasons Hotel and their magnificent garden.

An antique/flea market is held on the grounds of Gokoku-ji on the second saturday of each month, from 7:00 - 16:00

Access: Gokokuji Sta. on the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line
5-40-1 Otsuka, Bunkyo-ku
Phone: 03-3941-0764 (Japanese only)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear S.I.

What can I say. I'm more impressed with this page than even the shimo page. How would you feel if we reprinted these reviews here with full credit to you.

The site is non comercial and very un-professional. We have about 400 people visit the site each day and the average view time is around 14 minutes - I don't really know what this means but it's suposed to be impressive(?).
Any how, take care and have a good Easter. You can email me at