Tennoji Temple – Cherry Trees and Buddha
Notable for its ancient cherry trees and old bronze Buddha, Tennoji Temple should certainly be on your Tokyo temple radar.
Set within a huge cemetery scattered with dozens of ancient cherry trees, the beautiful location of Tennoji Temple is one if its most attractive selling points. At over 800 years old, the beautifully landscaped surroundings are steeped in history and as one of the last remaining refuges of Tendai Buddhism, it also plays an important role in preserving a history on the brink of extinction. The centrepiece of Tennoji is its centuries-old bronze Buddha statue.
Tennoji Temple Overview
Tennoji was built in 1274 to house a Buddha statue carved by Nichiren, a contemporary Buddhist priest and bodhisattva (someone who has, or is attempting to, achieve enlightenment). Expansion of the temple began in the late 17th-century by order of the ruling shogunate and in 1699 was subsumed as a branch of neighboring Kan’eiji Temple.
The temple remained intact until the Japanese Civil War, which left only for the pagoda and Buddha statue unharmed. Locals believe that the statue, fondly known as “Tennoji Daibutsu”, was saved from the ravages of war by the Buddha himself and has thus become a symbol of hope and survival.
Getting to Tennoji Shrine
Duration Of Visit
All year, 9am – 5pm