View of the Zojoji temple and Tokyo Tower in Japan
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In its heyday, the Zojoji temple extended over an area of 826,000m2 and had 3000 priests and students of Buddhism. They were dispersed over 48 minor temples and 150 schools on its precincts. It remains one of Japan’s most important temples today. The Tokugawa family, who ruled Japan from Tokyo during the Edo period, has a strong connection with Zojoji. Learn more about the temple’s history and what you can see here!

Temple History

During the Edo period, this temple served as a family temple for the Tokugawa family, the shoguns of that time. One of the Tokugawa mausoleums is here, and 6 former shoguns’ graves are on the grounds of the Zojoji temple. The original temple was destroyed many times, the last time being WW2. One structure, however, dates back to 1622 and survived many disasters: the main entrance gate or Sangedatsumon. If you want to know more about the history of this temple and see what it looked like before WW2, head over to the small museum in the basement of the temple’s main hall.

You should also not miss Zojoji’s impressive garden with a large number of jizo statues. These statues are here to commemorate children lost during pregnancy or around birth. Many of the bibs and hats that are worn by the statues are made and left by grieving parents.

Over the year many festivals are held on the temple grounds, and daily Buddhist ceremonies are taking place in the main hall. If you are lucky and come at the right time, you can hear the taiko drums that are played during the ceremonies. Also, don’t miss this temple around cherry blossom time, the area is full of cherry trees in full bloom around late March-early April.

Your Japan Tour

As seasoned Japan experts, we create perfect Japan package tours including destinations like Zojoji temple. Check out our group tours and private tours, or contact us to start planning your unforgettable holiday to this fascinating country. Japan is full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, culture, history, nature, and delicious food!

Zojoji temple Area Map

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