Interested in seeing the Indian architectural influence in Tokyo?
Next to the Tsukuji Fish Market, walking towards Ginza, is a temple which from the exterior has a distinctively Indian feel to it.
The Tsukiji Honganji Temple has Indian roots and according to the information we collected at the temple the Hindu architecture influence is due to the designer Chuta Ito who travelled extensively to countries like Burma, India and Sri Lanka. That influence is very tangible in the Honganji Temple from outside itself as seen in the snap below.
Honganji (Loosely translated as the temple of the long cherished dreams) was reconstructed multiple times over centuries and the current main building was built in 1934 by Japanese architectural historian, Itō Chūta, who was inspired by many temples of South Asia.
The exterior stone design based on original ancient Indian style combined Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic architectures in a complex manner. A popular temple, even on a weekday you can see many office goers stop by at the temple to pray or meditate. If you like architecture we definitely recommend a visit to this temple so rich in atmosphere.The temple on the inside is a wide hall with seating for visitors to sit and meditate. The aroma of the essence sticks burning permeates the temple interior and it creates a religious ambience to pray.
Beautiful chandeliers at the Honganji Temple add to the overall mood, sit and meditate, BLISS. Peaceful place right next to the busy commercial district of Ginza
The temple was originally located in Asakusa, but was destroyed in a fire during the Edo period. The temple is just outside Tsukiji Station in Tokyo. The present temple was reconstructed in 1934, post the Great Kanto Earthquake, and that’s when it got its Indian-style architecture.
Technology creeps inside the temple through self-service informative screens placed at various points inside the temple. You can get the information both in English and Japanese. Pamphlets and brochures at the entrance are also available in German, Chinese and Korean.
There are some posters on the temple walls tell the story of how the earthquake and the resulting fires razed the earlier temple to the ground. The mother temple is supposedly Nishi Honganji in Kyoto.
The lion standing guard at the Honganji. If you are in Tokyo do not miss this Indian architectural wonder just next to Ginza, its a ten minute walk from there.