Zojo ji is a Buddhist temple built in the Shiba neighborhood of Miniato-Ku in Tokyo, Japan. The history of this temple goes back almost seven centuries to 1393 when the temple was established by Yuyo Shoso. Before the Zojo ji Temple was built in this area, it had a forerunner in the Kanto region. The temple we actually see today was relocated here in 1598 after Tokugawa entered Edo- the present day Tokyo to establish his provincial government.
The Zojo-ji temple later became the family shrine of the Tokugawa family, during the period when the Tokugawa shogunate ruled Japan. The temple also served as an administrative centre to govern the religious studies and cultural activities of the Jodo Shu. However, as the Tokugawa shogunate came to an end the anti-Buddhist movements in Japan became stronger, the temples and the mausoleum were burned much later in the Second World War. However the temple was later rebuilt and resurfaced from the political and social turbulence that ensued.
One of the most striking features of the temple is its elaborate and majestic wooden gate. This gate which measure 21 meters in 28.7 meters in width and 17.6 meters in depth was built in 1622. It is the only archeological remnant of the Tokugawa period that survives to this day. The gate is built as a two storey structure and on the upper part of the gate the images of Shakyamuni Buddha, Samantabdhra and Manjusri bodhisattvas, and the sixteen disciples of the Buddha of carved by craftsmen of Kyoto are on display.
Another attraction of the temple is the Great Bell which was constructed in 1673, similar to the gate the bell is also of large proportions. Known as one of the “Three Big Bells" of the Edo period, this bells stands at height of 1.76 meters and has diameter of 3.3 meters weighing over 15 tons. A number of other interesting and educative parts of the temple can be seen by visitors and devotes who come to the temple. For tourists seeking Tokyo accommodation a number of nearby hotels offer excellent guest packages.
Naveen Marasinghe is an Online Marketing Executive at eMarketingEye which is a search engine marketing company that offers integrated Internet marketing solutions and specializes in serving the online travel and hospitality industry. (http://www.emarketingeye.com/ )