Tsukiji Hongwanji
Tsukiji Hongwanji

Tsukiji Hongwanji

Tsukiji Hongwanji is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha denomination, also known as Shin Buddhism, which was founded by the monk Shinran (1173-1263) and whose head temple is Hongwanji (Nishi Hongwanji) in Kyoto. The temple was first built near Asakusa, but was burnt down in a fire in 1657 and rebuilt at its current location in 1679. At that time, the area where the temple stands now was the sea. Temple followers and others implemented a land reclamation project and rebuilt the temple on the new land. In 1923, the temple was again destroyed by fire caused by the Great Kanto earthquake, and, in 1934, the current Hondo (main worship hall) was rebuilt according to a design by renowned architect Ito Chuta. In 2014, the temple’s main worship hall, gate posts (Main gate, North gate, and South gate), and stone walls were designated as National Important Cultural Properties. “Tsukiji” means “reclaimed land” and signifies the origins of the site on which the temple stands.

From the National Diet Library website

Unique Architectural Features

Tsukiji Hongwanji’s structure is modeled after ancient Buddhist architecture found in India and other Asian countries and was designed by architect Ito Chuta, who was also involved in the joint design of projects such as Heian Jingu Shrine in Kyoto and Meiji Jingu Shrine in Tokyo’s Harajuku. Ito was famous for his love of “yokai,” a term used to describe traditional Japanese monsters, and the temple is decorated with several carvings of creatures. They include winged lions, oxen, horses, shishi lion dogs, elephants, peacocks, monkeys, Chinese phoenixes, and exotic and strange figures called “grotesques”. In addition, depictions of four legendary Chinese animals: Blue Dragon, Red Peacock, White Tiger, and Black Tortoise are hidden inside.
The temple’s roundish roof is modeled after the leaf of the sacred Bodhi tree. A lotus flower is depicted in the center of the facade. A large pipe organ has been installed inside the main worship hall, and stained glass can be seen above the temple door. These, too, are architectural features unique to the temple. Visitors are encouraged to come experience the distinctive temple architecture which only Ito Chuta, who extensively traveled the Silk Road, could create.

Ito Chuta
Ito Chuta
Unique Architectural Features
Unique Architectural Features
Unique Architectural Features
Unique Architectural Features
Unique Architectural Features
Unique Architectural Features
Unique Architectural Features
Unique Architectural Features
Unique Architectural Features
Tsukiji Hongwanji is lit up daily from sunset until around 9:00 p.m. Come experience the <br>unique atmosphere of the temple and its grounds at night

Tsukiji Hongwanji is lit up daily from sunset until around 9:00 p.m. Come experience the
unique atmosphere of the temple and its grounds at night

Come See the Hondo
(Main Worship Hall).

Come See the Hondo(Main Worship Hall). Come See the Hondo(Main Worship Hall).
How to make an offering of incense according to the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha denomination How to make an offering of incense according to the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha denomination

First, stand a step away from the incense burner and bow lightly.
Next, take a very small pinch of incense and sprinkle it into the burner.
Put your palms together, bow forward, and recite “Namo Amida Butsu.”
This recitation means “I entrust myself to Amida Buddha.”
Finally, bow deeply, take a step back, and bow once more lightly.

Come See the Hondo(Main Worship Hall). Come See the Hondo(Main Worship Hall).

Map of Grounds

Map of Grounds

Information Center

Cafe Tsumugi
Book Center
Official Shop
Information Desk
Multipurpose Room

First Dendo Kaikan

Tea Lounge
Japanese Restaurant Shisui
Souvenir Stand
Accommodations
Conference Rooms

Tsukiji Hongwanji Cafe Tsumugi

Tsukiji Hongwanji Cafe Tsumugi

In addition to a popular 18-dish breakfast, Cafe Tsumugi serves Tsukiji Hongwanji’s signature tea blends and desserts. Alcoholic beverages are served at night.

Inside the Information Center
Hours: 8:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. (open all year round)
Breakfast served from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Tea Lounge

Tea Lounge

In this brightly-lit lounge adorned with floor-to-ceiling windows, enjoy coffee, black tea, and other drinks; light foods such as toast and sandwiches; and desserts like anmitsu (agar jelly served with anko bean jam and fruit, and topped with syrup and ice cream).

First Dendo Kaikan, 1st floor
Hours: 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.

Japanese Restaurant Shisui

Japanese Restaurant Shisui

Shisui serves traditional Japanese shojin ryori (vegetarian Buddhist cuisine) whose recipes have been handed down since ancient times, gozen meals made with fresh ingredients stocked straight from the market, and the temple’s famous monzen soba noodles.

First Dendo Kaikan, 1st floor
Hours: 11:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

Book Center

Book Center

Serving as the temple’s bookstore, here you can find a wide variety of books, from essays and primers for the Buddhist novice, to specialized texts for the devout.

Inside the Information Center
Hours: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (open year-round)

Official Shop

Official Shop

This shop carries Buddhist items and exclusive Tsukiji Hongwanji merchandise such as stationery and knickknacks.

Inside the Information Center
Hours: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (open year-round)

First Dendo Kaikan Souvenir Stand

First Dendo Kaikan Souvenir Stand

This stand sells Buddhist ritual implements, incense, confections, and more.

First Dendo Kaikan, 1st floor
Hours: 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.

Tsukiji Hongwanji Events

Daily Morning and Evening Services

Daily Morning and Evening Services

Every day from 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
The temple holds a morning and an evening service daily. Services start with the ringing of a bell called the kansho. During the morning service, a priest delivers a sermon.
Lunchtime Concert

Lunchtime Concert

Last Friday of the month, from 12:10 p.m.
Enjoy performances of classical and Buddhist music played by an ensemble of various instruments, including a pipe organ made by the German Walcker company which was donated to the temple in 1970 by the Society for the Promotion of Buddhism (Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai).
English Dharma Service

English Dharma Service

Last Saturday of the month, from 5:30 p.m.
During this service, sermons on Buddhism are conducted in English. Even highly technical terms are explained in easy-to-understand English. A fellowship is held after the service where participants can also enjoy meeting and talking with each other over refreshments.
Click here for the annual schedule
Traditional Gagaku Music Performances

Traditional Gagaku Music Performances

Held irregularly
Gagaku is a traditional style of music performed using stringed, percussion, and wind instruments which were introduced to Japan from China. Gagaku is performed in Japan at the imperial court, Buddhist temples, and Shinto shrines. Gagaku performances at Tsukiji Hongwanji are accompanied by displays of traditional dancing. In addition to these special performances, you can also hear gagaku being performed at Tsukiji Hongwanji during memorial services such as the Ho-onko service memorializing the founder of Shin Buddhism.

New Year’s Day Service

New Year’s Day Service

January 1, from 6:30 a.m.
A service is held in the main worship hall to welcome in the new year. Mikan oranges and large pounded mochi rice cakes, called kagami mochi, are offered to Amida Buddha. Many people come to Tsukiji Hongwanji to make their first temple visit of the year and form a line to make an offering at the incense burner.
Seijinshiki<br />
(Coming of Age Ceremony)

Seijinshiki
(Coming of Age Ceremony)

Mid-January
In Japan, it is customary to celebrate being deemed an adult at the age of 20. During the ceremony, those who have turned or will turn 20 between April 1 of the previous year and March 31 of the current year stand in front of Amida Buddha to give thanks for the growth and development they have made, and to make a renewed vow to treasure their lives moving forward.
Great East Japan Earthquake Memorial Service

Great East Japan Earthquake Memorial Service

March 11, from 2:46 p.m.
This memorial service is held to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the Great East Japan Earthquake which occurred on March 11, 2011; and to hope for the continued restoration and reconstruction of areas struck by the disaster.
Higan-e<br />
(Equinox Services - Spring and Fall)

Higan-e
(Equinox Services - Spring and Fall)

Late March and late September
These services are held while bearing in mind the Pure Land (the land of Amitabha Buddha), which lies in the west, for approximately one week around the dates of the spring and fall equinoxes when the sun sets due west.
Hana Matsuri<br />
(Buddha’s Birthday)

Hana Matsuri
(Buddha’s Birthday)

Early April
April 8 is the birthday of Sakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Tsukiji Hongwanji holds a Hana Matsuri service to celebrate Sakyamuni Buddha’s birth on a Sunday near April 8.
Shuso Gotan-e<br />
(Founder’s Birthday Service)

Shuso Gotan-e
(Founder’s Birthday Service)

May 21
May 21 is the date of the birth of Shinran, the founder of Shin Buddhism. A service is held to celebrate his birth, a tea ceremony is conducted in the main worship hall, and traditional gagaku music is performed.
Urabon-e<br />
(Ullambana Service)

Urabon-e
(Ullambana Service)

July 13–16
This memorial service is derived from the Ullambana Sutra. By remembering one’s ancestors, we celebrate the fact that, through generations of relationships and connections, we are able to encounter the teachings of Shin Buddhism; and listen to the teachings of the Buddha.
Bon Odori<br />
(Bon Dance Festival)

Bon Odori
(Bon Dance Festival)

Late July–early August (four days)
As Tsukiji’s summer tradition, a huge tower called a yagura is erected on the grounds of Tsukiji Hongwanji and large numbers of people come to dance around it. During the festival, some of Tsukiji’s most well-known restaurants and food companies set up food stands, and it is also known as “the most delicious Bon Dance in Japan.”
Ho-onko<br />
(Founder’s Memorial)

Ho-onko
(Founder’s Memorial)

November 11–16
January 16 is the date of the death of Shinran, the founder of Shin Buddhism. Tsukiji Hongwanji holds its Ho-onko services in November in order to avoid overlapping with the Ho-onko services held at the Hongwanji, the head temple of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha denomination in Kyoto from January 9 to 16. The Ho-onko services are the most important service conducted in Shin Buddhism and memorializes the virtues of Shinran. The impressive event includes Buddhist chants and gagaku music performances conducted by large numbers of people.
Bodhi Day Sermons

Bodhi Day Sermons

December
December 8 is the date that is considered to be the day when Sakyamuni Buddha, founder of Buddhism, attained enlightenment (became a Buddha). In commemoration of Sakyamuni Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment, several priests take turns to give sermons in Tsukiji Hongwanji’s main worship hall.
New Year’s Eve Service

New Year’s Eve Service

December 31
This service is held in the main worship hall to let us reflect on the passing year. Visitors may enter Tsukiji Hongwanji’s bell tower, normally closed to the general public, and ring the traditional New Year’s Eve bell. Additional events include a countdown, pipe organ and traditional gagaku music performances conducted in the main worship hall, comedic performances conducted by priests, and the handing out of free cups of amazake (sweet low-alcohol sake).

Jodo Shinshu
Hongwanji-ha
Tsukiji Hongwanji

3-15-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045
e-mail:koho@tsukijihongwanji.jp

Main worship hall general opening hours

6:00am to 4:00pm(the main door will be closed after the evening service)

Temple ground opening hours

6:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.

Entry free

Access by subway

Connected directly to Exit 1 of Tsukiji Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
A five-minute walk from Exit 4 of Shintomicho Station on the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line
A five-minute walk from Exit 5 of Higashi-ginza Station on the Toei Asakusa Line Toei Asakusa Line
A five-minute walk from Exit A1 of Tsukijishijo Station on the Toei Oedo Line Toei Oedo Line