Set Current Location
Five hundred Buddhist statues were carved by an unknown sculptor following the horrific fire of 1772. The skill of the artisan is clearly naive but the effect of the group is quite impressive. The temple building itself, which dates to the 1630s, was also lost during the fire but has since been reconstructed. Admission: Free.
This speciality museum has memorabilia from the brief reign of of the Taisho Emperor (1912-1926). Coronation garments, priests' clothing, drums and other items associated with Shinto rituals—such as purification and fertility—are gathered together in a small room for display purposes. Shinto was once the official state religion of Japan and is still practiced by millions, although the Emperor is no longer considered a deity. The exhibits are well worth a look.
The story of this small temple starts with Shogun Tsunaoshi's mother who heard about a devoted monk who carved statues of holy men. She convinced her to son to allocate some land for the monk's work. About 300 statues survive from his five-year project and have been located at this present site in Meguro since 1908. Admission: Free.
The priest, Tenka, established this temple for the protection of Edo Castle, then the center of feudal government and commerce in Japan. It was supported by the Tokugawas throughout the Edo period, till the mid-19th century. The temple pays tribute to the god Fudo. A major Buddhist priest, Ennin, made a carving of Fudo (now preserved here) after seeing him in a dream that he had in Meguro.
Joju'in Temple's principal image is of an octopus with the god of healing, Yakushi, sitting on top. The priest, Ennin, saw Yakushi in a dream and made the carving to thwart an impending epidemic. While studying in China, Ennin learned how to bestow healing on the temple's stones. The stones can also be employed to remove unwanted warts! This was another technique that Ennin brought back from China.
Perhaps one of the most aesthetic examples of the legacy of the fedudal age is this temple belonging to the Kyushu Nabeshima family—who were responsible for the introduction into Japan of porcelain production. Members of the Tokyo branch of this very influential "daimyo" family are buried amidst palisades of stone, sixteen stupas, and imposing stone lanterns.
In 832 this temple was established by the Buddhist priest, Kobo Daishi. It is well known as the location for the first US legation in 1859. Do not miss the stone tribute in honor of Townsend Harris, the first American minister to Japan. Also, Yukichi Fukuzawa, the father of Keio University is buried here. Although the air raids of the Second World War resulted in the destruction of all the buildings, most historical documents have been preserved.
The museum portion of the planetarium is arranged in a circular pattern around the show area. It consists primarily of permanent displays concentrating on myths about constellations in Japanese folklore. In Japanese legends, certain musical instruments typified individual constellations. Copies of portraits of well-known astronomers plus models of western telescopes complement the collection.