Myoukenzan Yutenji Temple is a Jodo (pure) Sect of Buddhism established about 300 years ago. Earlier this year the temple launched a free smartphone app, a bilingual (English and Japanese) video guide to the history and origins of the Temple buildings. Download the app, obtain an app map at the main temple office, scan the map then select English / Japanese. Tap a building you`re interested in and watch the video. The English version covers the history of the following buildings listed below. I highly recommend downloading the app as it explains the architecture and intricate art and carvings within the structures. Revisit the temple grounds in Spring – it`s surrounded with Cherry Blossoms.
Short notes from the video app:
– Omote-mon (Main Gate) of Yutenji was built in 1817, the 100th anniversary of Saint Yuten`s death.
– Jizodo-mon (Jizo Hall Gate) was built some time around 1850 during the tenure of Yuko, the 13th chief priest of Yutenji. The architectural style of the gate is called “Yakui-mon” where the roof is supported by two posts in the front and back.
– Nio-mon (Deva Gate) was donated by Lady Takehime, an adopted daughter of the 5th Tokugawa Shogun Tsunayoshi, in 1735.
– Jizodo Hall (Jizo Hall) is a shrine dedicated to the Bodhisattva Jizo and was constructed in 1788 and expanded to it`s current form in 1800.
– Amidado (Amida Hall) enshrines an image of the Amida Buddha. It was donated by lady Takehime in 1724.
– Mizuya (Purification Basin) was built in 1846 during the tenure of Yuko, the 13th chief priest of Yutenji. Worshipers purify themselves by washing their hands here.
– Shorodo (Bell Tower) was built in 1729 and was donated by Tenei`in, who was the widow of the 6th Tokugawa Shogun Ienou. Today, the bell tolls at 6 in the morning and evening on New Year`s Eve. Visitors who obtain tickets in advance can toll the bell to ring out the old year.
– Hondo (Main Temple Hall) was completed on July 15th in 1719 – the first anniversary of the death of Yuten, the 36th chief priest of Zojo-ji, a main temple of Jodo-Shu. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1894.
– Shoin (Reception Room) burned down in 1894. It`s reconstruction was completed in 1897. It`s one of only a few grand-sized Sho-in within in Tokyo.
Yutenji Temple holds their annual Yutenji Mitama Matsuri (祐天寺み魂まつり) in mid-July (July 16-18). Kids from the neighboring school, Yutenji kindergarten, participate in the festival every year. There are food and game stalls for all to enjoy. Put on a yukata and join in the fun!
Matsuri Hours: Kids festival 17:30-19:00 Adult festival 19:00-20:30
Wikipedia: Yutenji (祐天寺) is a temple of the Pure Land Sect of Buddhism in Nakameguro, Meguro, Tokyo, Japan. In 1718, the 3rd year of the Kyōhō era, the 36th Buddhist monk of Zōjōji called Yūten (祐天) died. One of his disciples, Yumi (祐海), built Yutenji as his shrine and made him the founder.
Yutenji Temple App and location details:
App Name: reAR PRO
Compatible with: iOS 6.0 or later and Android 4.0 or later
Address: 5-24-53 Nakameguro, Meguro, Tokyo (東京都目黒区中目黒５丁目２４－５３)
Hours: Temple open year round. Free entry.
Access: A 5 min walk from Yutenji Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line (Google Map)
Website: http://www.yutenji.or.jp/ (in Japanese)
Did you enjoy this article? If yes, please sign-up for the Best Living Japan newsletter, so you don’t miss any great info. It is easy to sign-up just click here, and enter your email.