Hearing “Higashi Honganji” Temple, many people think about the one in Kyoto. In this issue we introduce “Higashi Honganji” Temple in Nishi Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo particularly its history and unique point. As various events are held regularly, it’s worth visiting “Higashi Honganji” Temple when you are in Asakusa.
About “Higashi Honganji” Temple
“Higashi Honganji” Temple of “Jodo Shinshu” (a faction of the Buddhism) was built by order of “IeyasuTokugawa” (the 1st Shogun of the Edo Period).
It was in “Kanda” first, and then moved to “Asakusa” after several fires at “Kanda Myojin” (a shrine in nearby).
The Temple has many buildings in a very big precinct. It used to be lodging facilities for the Korean Envoys to Japan from 1711.
It is the headquarters of “Jodoshu Higashi Honganji-ha” (a faction of “Jodo Shinshu” ) founded in 1988 and used to be called “Tokyo Honganji” Temple.
Anyone can pay respect and can participate in “Dokkyo” (chanting a sutra) or a sermon in the morning. Unique characteristic of the temple is a tea room called “Shiun-tei” in the natural environment.
In the precinct there is “Jiko-den” (a facility building) where you can have memorial services, a get together by the believers and meeting for cultural exchanges. In the building there are other facilities such as a gallery, a tea room and multi-purpose room. They are used for exhibitions of calligraphy and tea ceremonies.
A Must See Spot
”Fusumae” (a painting on the sliding screen) in “Shiun-tei” by Shiko Munakata
“Shiun-tei” nestles in natural environment. There is a tea room whose “Fusumae”s (paintings on the sliding screen) were painted by Shiko Munakata in 1961. He painted 28 “Fusumae” which are now the treasure of “Honganji” Temple.
Get Familiar with Calligraphy
The event “Get Familiar with Calligraphy” is held at “Jiko-den” of “Higashi Honganji”Temple. You can enjoy the calligraphy by copying “Shoshinge” (a Buddhist religious text by “Shinran”) with a writing brush. 4 time every month (mostly Sunday), from 10:00a.m. to 12:00 noon.
Learn Flower Arrangement & Tea Ceremony
In the Memorial Hall of “Higashi Honganji” Temple, classes are available for learning flower arrangement and tea ceremony.
- Class for flower arrangement: 6 times a month, every Thursday & Friday of 1st-3rd week of the month, from 10:00a.m to 8:00p.m. (at your convenience)
- Class for tea ceremony: 3 times a month, every Friday of 1st-3rd week of the month, from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m.
Why not try the Japanese culture?
Information of “Higashi Honganji” Temple
・Address: 1-5-5 Nishi Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
・Telephone: 03-3843-9511 (main number)
・Hours: 7:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.
(gate open at 6:30a.m. & close at 5:00p.m. )
・Holiday open everyday
・Direction by subway
5 minutes walk from Tawara-machi” Station, Tokyo Metro “Ginza” Line
10 minutes walk from Exit 1 at “Asakusa” Station, Toei Chikatetsu “Asakusa” Line
7 minutes walk from the exit A2, “Asakusa” Station, Tsukuba Express
15 minute walk from Exit “Chuo Shomen Deguchi”, JR “Ueno” Satation, “Yamanote” Line
Travel time: about 40 minutes from Haneda Airport, about 70 minutes from Narita Airport, about 25 minutes from “Tokyo” Station
・Official Site URL http://www.honganji.or.jp/