Jigan-ji Temple in Tokyo

A Buddhist temple with an impressive historical gate

By Peter Sidell   Sep 29, 2017 - 2 min read

A few minutes on the train from Shibuya in the suburbs of Tokyo, Futako-Tamagawa is best known for its enormous shopping centre and attractive riverside location, but venture away from the river and station, and you'll come to a quiet residential area. Here you'll be rewarded with a cluster of three Buddhist temples, all with their unique charms, of which Jigan-ji is one.

Just up the road from Minobusan Kanto Betsuin Temple, Jigan-ji is notable for its large, impressive wooden gate, sternly guarded by two statues on the outside and two more on the inside. Within the grounds, there's plenty to interest visitors in quite a small space: an unshowy, elegant hall, with a bright vermilion pagoda and several serene Buddhist statues dotted around it; also a small but carefully-tended garden, artfully arranged around a pond populated by smoothly gliding carp.

Along with the other temples and nearby shrine, this is a very pleasant place to potter around for an hour or two, away from the tourists, where local Japanese residents drop by on their way to or from the station for a quick prayer.

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