Yutenji Temple is holding their annual Yutenji Mitama Matsuri (祐天寺み魂まつり) this weekend, July 16, 17 & 18, 2017. Parents and children from the neighbouring school, Yutenji kindergarten, participate by dancing in colourful yukatas every year. Grab lunch at Midorie Organic Cafe then stop by the Temple grounds late afternoon to learn about the eight different structures and buildings then stay late for the dance festival, food and game stalls. There`s enough for all ages to enjoy. Don a yukata and join in the fun!
Matsuri Hours: Kids festival 17:30 – 19:00 Adult festival 19:00 -20:30 (Cancelled if rain)
Yutenji Temple History
Myoukenzan Yutenji Temple is a Jodo (pure) Sect of Buddhism established about 300 years ago. Last 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 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 as it`s filled 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.
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)
Yutenji Temple Summer Festival and Temple History