Kamakura Great Buddha at Kotokuin temple in Kamakura city

The construction of Kamakura Great Buddha was begun in 1252, and the original statue has never required restoration.  Therefore, it has a great historical and cultural value.

According to the history book, Azuma kagami, written in the early 14 century, this Great Buddha was made by donations collected by a monk, Jyoko.

There are very few historical documents about the statue, hence details about the Great Buddha remain unknown, such as the reason for building it, and its completion date.

Today, Kamakura Great Buddha is sitting outside without its hall. However, originally, the hall existed. According to books written in the 14th century, Taiheiki and Kamakura Dai nikki, the Kamakura Great Buddha hall was damaged by strong winds in 1369 and the completely destroyed by a great earthquake in 1498.



Fukagawa Fudodo temple in Tokyo Japan

Fukagawa Fudodo is the Tokyo branch of Naritasan Shinshoji temple in Narita-city Chiba-prefecture.




It is said that Fukagawa Fudodo was established when the main Buddhist statue of Naritasan Shinshoji temple was brought to Edo for a special exhibition in 1703. The event was supported by the mother of the fifth Shogun Tsunayoshi and many people came to see the statue. After that, the exhibition was held many times in Edo. As a matter of fact,the statue was carved by Kobo-daishi who was a fondar of Shingon sect in the Heian period.


In the early Meiji era, Edo worshippers insisted on establishing an official branch of Naritasan Shinshoji temple in Fukagawa. As a result, Fukagawa Fudodo was established in 1881.


People believe that the main Buddhist statue enshrined in Fukagawa Fudodo todayshares the same soul with the main statue of Naritasan Shinshoji temple.


The original temple was burnt by the fire after the great Kanto earthquake in 1923. Although the building was rebuilt in 1928, it was burnt again by the air raids of World War II in 1945. Fortunately, the statue of the temple was protected by the monks. After the air raids, the statue was sent to Naritasan Shinshoji-temple.In 1950, Fukagawa Fudodo was rebuilt and the statue was brought back.










A new room for the
Buddhist statue was constructed in 2002 and the new main building was completed
in 2012.




The new main building's walls are covered
with words of Fudo Myoo written in








Sensoji-temple at Asakusa in Tokyo

According to a legend, this temple was built in 628.

It is the oldest temple in Tokyo.


It is said that when two fishermen fished in the Sumida River,

they found a Cannon statue, and then a wealthy landlord enshrined the Cannon here.



The Thunder gate at Asakusa in Tokyo


This is the Kaminarimon gate, it means thunder gate.


This is a gate of Sensouji-temple and a symbol of Asakusa.

Inside of the gate, there are wooden statues. Right side of it is the wind god. Left side of it is the thunder god. They are guardian gods of this temple.

The original gate was built in the 10th century. However the gate was burnt several times over the centuries. Today's gate was built in 1960 donated by Konosuke Matsushita who was one of the most famous Japanese business men.


Tsukiji-Honganji-Temple at Tsukji in Tokyo

This is a Buddhist temple.


The temple was originally built at Asakusa in 1617. However, the building was burned down by the big fire in 1657. The temple was not allowed to be reconstructed atthe original place, because the Shogunate government renovated the city planning for fire prevention.

The temple was rebuilt at Tsukiji. In 1923, the temple was burned again by the fire caused by the great Kanto earthquake. In 1934, the current main building was built. Thestructure is very unique. It combines Indian and Japanese Buddhism styles, and it has aGerman pipe organ. Free pipe organ concerts are held monthly. This temple acts as acommunity center for citizens.


Inner garden Koishikawa Korakuen in Tokyo Japan


This area is called Inner garden where a shoin style guesthouse was in the past.

Shoin style is a traditional style of Japanese architecture that includes an alcove.

The area was separated from the pond part of the garden with the Chinese style gate.


about Yorifusa Tokugawa, Koishikawa Korakuen in Tokyo Japan

Yorifusa Tokugawa (1603-1661)


Yorifusa Tokugawa was the founder of Koishikawa Korakuen.Yorifusa was the first Mito clan ruler in the Tokugawa government.

He was the 11th son of Ieyasu Tokugawa,who was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate.When his father Ieyasu was 62 years old, Yorifusa was born. Yorifusa was a wild kid, but Ieyasu loved the boy very much.When Yorifusa was 7 years old, Ieyasu decided that Yorifusa was the first ruler of the Mito clan which was one of the most important clans for the Tokugawa shogunate.In addition, Ieyasu ordered that the ruler of Mito clan had always to stay in Edo and support Tokugawa shogun.Therefore a chief counselor of a federal lord stayed in Mito and managed the clan.


The third shogun Iemitsu Tokugawa and Yorifusa had a good relationship.Yorifusa was an uncle of shogun Iemitsu,but he was only three years older than the nephew.Therefore Iemitsu talked about many things to Yorifusa and Yorifusa supported him well.As a matter of fact, the third shogun advised Yorifusa a lot when he built this garden, Koishikawa Korakuen.

Yorifusa not only had high skills in the martial arts but also was interested in studying Japanese classical literature, Confucianism and theology.Although Yorifusa was a close relative of Tokugawa shogun, he much respected the Emperor.


Yorifusa worked to improve water management systems in the Mito clan,such as improving the environment of the Senba lake to prevent flood damage and building water supply systems for people.He established a solid base for managing the Mito clan.


He passed away when he was 59 years old.He was enshrined as a god in Mito Toshogu with his father Ieyasu.


Tokujin-do Koishikawa Korakuen in Tokyo Japan

"Tokujin do" was built for enshrining statues of ancient Chinese Confucian scholars.

When Mitsukuni Tokugawa, the second lord of the Mito clan, was 18 years old,

he read the "Hakui Retsuden" story from the Chinese historical work called "Shiki".

He was deeply impressed with  the life of the great brothers in the story.

Therefore he decided to enshrine their wooden statues in this building.

The building's name comes from a Confucian idea from the story.

"Tokujin" means that the brothers searched for "humanity and justice",

and then they obtained it.


Out line of "Hakui Retsuden"

Hakui and his younger brother Shukusei were in Kochiku in China over 3000 years ago.

Their father, the lord of Kochiku, decided that Shukusei should become the next lord of the country.

After their father passed away, Shukusei tried to hand over the status of the lord to Hakui, because it was common that the oldest son succeeded the lord.

However, Hakui respected his father's will, so that he didn't accept the offer and left the country.

Then Shukusei also left the country.

Therefore people of the country accepted another brother of Hakui and Shukusei

as the ruler afterwards.

After that, Hakui and Shukusei went toward Shu,

because they heard that the lord, Bun-o, was great.

However, when they arrived at Shu, the lord passed away.

The lord's son, Bu-o was about to go to kill king of Yin.

The brothers tried to stop him,

because it was wrong to kill king during mourning period of his father's death.

Nevertheless, Bu-o didn't listen to the brothers' admonition, he killed king of Yin.


Although Bu-o asked the brothers to work for him,

the brothers didn't accept the offer, and lived on a mountain.


After a while, the brothers died from starving.

People admire the brothers' modesty and their faith.

↓The wooden statues


The reason why Mitsukuni was deeply impressed with the story.

Mitsukuni was also not the oldest son.

However, his father, Yorifusa, decided that

Mitsukuni was the heir of Yorifusa, when Mitsukuni was 6 years old.

He was confused by the decision, because his oldest brother was smart and well esteemed.

Little by little, he became skeptical against his father and behaved like a bad boy.

When Mitsukuni was 18 years old, he read the story about Hakui and Shukusei,

he realized how great the brothers were.

He was ashamed of his past behavior.

After that he studied a lot and became modest.



Koishikawa Korakuen's pond in Tokyo Japan

This pond is one of the highlights in the park.

This is called "Osensui", it means "big pond".


There is a small island in the pond.

It is called "Horaijima".

"Horai" is a God's mountain in the Chinese myth and  "jima" means island.


The shape of the island is like a turtle. Turtle is a symbol of fortune and longevity.

It is said that the shape of the island was a little destroyed by a big earthquake in Edo period.

There is a small shrine for Benzaiten on the island.

Benzaiten is a Buddhism goddess.

In Japan, she is regarded as a goddess of water and money.


Koishikawa Korakuen's stone fence in Tokyo Japan

This is a stone fence of Koishikawa Korakuen.


These stones were found at the place where a gate of Edo castle once were.

They are considered as the stones of the Edo castle's moat.

This fence was re-constructed by using the stones of Edo castles's moat

and technique of early Edo period.

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About me

  • Hi there! I'm Lala. I'm a Japanese living in Tokyo. I'm an English speaking licensed guide and authorized tour conductor. If you have questions, please leave comments on this blog or send me e-mails. lalalamumin☆yahoo.co.jp (please replace ☆ with @ when you send me e-mails)

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