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White Tiger

Tsukiji Hongwanji Buddhist Temple October 7, 2014

On our way back to the Tsukiji subway station, we were drawn to the Tsukiji Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. I looked at the edifice and I felt like I've seen it in a dream before. We just had to check it out.

The building's noteworthy architecture showed hints of Hindu Buddhist design. In contrast to the nearby bustling Tsukiji Market, this place was very solemn.

Tsukiji Hongwanji Buddhist Temple

At the entrance, a friendly monk gave wide grins as he welcomed guests. He also handed out keepsakes:  a lemon-shaped piece of paper featuring the white tiger or byakko, a mythological creature. Legend has it that the white tiger will only appear when there is peace throughout the world. I wish I understood the meaning of the Japanese inscription on the back of the paper.

The White Tiger or Byakko
A keepsake from Tsukiji Hongwanji Buddhist Temple

The main worship hall or Hondo was astonishing with the elaborate detail from floor to ceiling. It was like opening a treasure chest that was brimming with gold.

The main hall or Hondo inside the Tsukiji Hongwanji Buddhist Temple
The captivating detail of the middle altar enshrining the Amida Buddha.
A worshipper burns incense and bows in front of the Buddha.
A closer look at the left auxiliary altar.
The right auxiliary altar is just as elegant.
This platform or stage is probably used during certain ceremonies.

It was definitely worth the quick visit. Before leaving the temple, we took a few more pictures of the unique architectural details.

The top of the main door is adorned with stained glass depicting lotus flowers. Can you see it behind me?
Alan at the foot of the steps leading to the temple.

If you'd like to learn more, here are additional resources with great photos about Tsukiji Hongwanji:

This story was continued from To Market, To Market.

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