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Zuishoji temple

In Shirokanedai, surrounded by apartments, is Zuishoji temple.  It dates from 1670.  On my first visit, I thought it was pretty underwhelming.  But, after spending a few minutes there, I realized my judgment was amiss.  Yes, it was small, but the main hall was appealing.  Architecturally, it is beautiful.  And the surroundings?  They were pretty contrasting.

Zuishoji temple and reflection pool

As I’ve already said, the grounds are small.  There isn’t much there.  It has a gate, the main temple, a bell tower, and a cemetery.  The modern additions are a reflection pool and a multi-purpose hall.

round wooden temple window

But, we are going for pictures!  It has a few of those.  And they are interesting.  I’ve been to other places surrounded by skyscrapers, like Hie Shrine.  This one has some large residential buildings near it.  For me, Zuishoji is something very different.  And it has a pool.  I would love to photograph that in the early morning when its waters are calm.  My list of things to do is getting longer and longer!


A brief history of Zuishoji

  • Zuishoji Temple is a temple of the Obaku branch of Buddhism.  
  • Construction began in 1670 and finished the following year.  
  • Fire severely damaged it in 1726 and 1745.  
  • Rebuilding was carried out between 1804 and 1818.
  • It was designated as a national important cultural property on August 10, 1992
  • Kengo Kuma designed the modern building.  It was built in 2018

What is to photograph at Zuishoji temple?

  • Main hall
  • The pool near the reception is good for reflections
  • Shachihoko (fish-like animals on roofs to make the building fireproof)
temple reflection pool

Where is Zuishoji?

Shirokanedai Station is the closest station.  You can get there by the Tokyo Metro Nanboku or Toei Mita Lines.  The temple is only a short walk away.  Here is a Google map:

Opening hours

The temple is open from 9:00 am to 4:15 pm, with the gates closing at 4:30 pm.

Car parking

Yes, but only short-term, and you need to get permission from the office.

Japanese temple roof

Admission costs

None

WIFI availability 

None

Other photo spots near Zuishoji temple

Wrapping up

In all honesty, there isn’t a lot to photograph at Zuishoji.  Still, the main worship hall is beautiful.  And with the surrounding apartment buildings, it’s a compelling scene.  It is so different. 

bell and Zuishoji temple

The temple is one of the few remaining Buddhist buildings from the Edo period.  Another from that period is Gokokuji Temple, near Ikebukuro.  Both of them are beautiful.

And one last thing, especially if you are a Japanese history fan.  Zuishoji is the resting place of Hirobumi Ito’s parents!  Their grave is there.  But, if you want to view it, you must arrange that with the temple’s office.  

Zuishoji temple

Zuishoji might be small, but architecturally it is beautiful. I’m already looking forward to my next visit there.  So, expect to see new pictures here in the future.

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