We walked about 5 minutes from the Tokyo Prince Hotel where we stayed in a shaded sidewalk that led us to the side area of the Zojoji Buddha temple grounds. Zojoji temple with the Tokyo tower on the background presented for some the great contrast pictures between old and new Japan though.
The first things that caught our eye were multiple rows of jizobosatsu or jizo statues decorated with bibs, knitted caps, flowers and pinwheels.They were quite a sight but the stories behind them were very sad. Jizo statues were considered protectors of the souls of children and infants. I guess the closest equivalents we have in the Christian world are angel statues. Parents come here to decorate and dedicate the statues in honor of their children who have preceded them in life. Knowing what they represented and as a parent, it was particularly heart-wrenching to see all the little statues here.
The imposing true story, red main gate marking the entrance to the temples was pretty impressive. There were also various structures, shrines and gardens surrounding the main hall. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to explore them. We sat a few minutes inside the main hall (plenty of chairs lined up neatly) and watched some monks cleaning.
The main hall’s centerpiece was a Buddha statue surrounded by a striking golden altar. There was a terrace around the temple and to the back area was a bridge that led to a walkway towards Tokyo Tower.
We prayed for little kids who go to school for the first time in their lives: Janko’s grandson Klinton and our friends’ daughter Olivia. We bought some souvenirs for them and turned around. So serene place was Zojoji temple, to think, to meditate and relax.
Listen to the music performed at Zojoji: