Shibamata-taishakuten: another regular Buddhist temple in Tokyo?

2020年 01月15日

Buddhists or not, art enthusiasts or not, and lovers of Japan traveling the Land of the Rising Sun, do not miss Shibamata-taishakuten!

All year round, curious people enjoy the gorgeous 450 years old "Dragon pine tree"  and three sculpted walls, depicting 10 scenes from the Lotus Sutra at this astonish Buddhist temple.
The Daikyoji (its ancient name) belongs to the Nichiren Buddhist sect and is used as an extending of the Shibamata station (Katsushika district in Tokyo). Nostalgic atmosphere guaranteed when you walk around this shitamachi (lower town associated with the common people).

Enjoy peacefully each and every aspect of this old temple since its presumed eccentricity implies not too many visitors!
Founded during the 17th century, Shibamata-taishakuten is a survivor worth the trip though. Its current structure (built in 1929) remained unspoilt by the World War II bombings. Other buildings were built after the war.

Near the entrance, believers cleanse themselves at a holy water fountain and pour water on a statue of the Bodhisattva Jogyo.
Across the temple, you will find a refined Japanese garden appreciated for its luxuriant nature, its benches and its pond where dynamic carps and half-asleep turtles live.

Eyes roaming from right to left and from top to bottom will discover a variety of Buddhist pieces of art sculpted in the wood: Buddha, celestial maiden, dragons, strange chimera, zodiac animals... but also a stone monkey, small statues of white  serpentine, seasonal bird paintings and paintings showing Taishakuten (a Buddhist deity, commonly known as Shakra)....

Whether or not you are a believer, Shibamata-taishakuten is a relaxing gem site where can be felt the soul of Japan and will lift your spirits before going home.
A step towards the enlightening and/or a foretaste of the Nirvana?