Zojoji is the main temple of the Jodo (Pure Land) sect of Buddhism. It is right next to Tokyo Tower. It was founded as the sect’s eastern Japan seminary in 1393 and was relocated to its present site in 1598. In those days it was a massive complex containing 48 subsidiary temples, over 3000 priests and over 150 grammar schools. Times have changed and it now occupies but a fraction of its former area.
Coming from Daimon or Hamamatsucho stations, the first you will see of Zojoji is its huge 21 meter (69 foot) high gate, the Sangedatsumon, built in 1622, the only remaining part of the original temple. Just inside to your right is the Daibonsho, a giant 15 ton bell cast in 1673, tolled six times twice a day.
Watch a young priest toll the bell in this YouTube clip.
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Tuesday, October 06, 2009