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This temple is the Tokyo branch of the Nishi-Honganji Temple in Kyoto, and is a temple for Jodo Shinshu, the most practised brand of Buddhism in the country. Established in Yokoyamacho near Asakusa in 1617, the temple went up in flames in the Great Fire of Meireki and the structure was relocated to Tsukiji.
Completed in 1934, the current exotically unusual exterior is made of stone with an Indian architectural motif. The interior of the Main Worship Hall, or Hondo, has a traditional Shinshu temple style, whose stained glass, chandeliers and furniture inside is worth seeing up close. This iteration was designed by architectural historian Ito Chuta, an honorary professor at the Tokyo Imperial University (currently known as Tokyo University). The best way to experience the serene atmosphere, though, is during the free monthly pipe-organ concert, which takes place on a Friday lunchtime and usually includes a mix of classical tunes and Buddhist hymns. The temple is also lit up in the evenings, revealing a beautiful alter-ego to the structure.
From the on-site café you'll have a good view of the grand facade. Get here before 10.30am and order the gorgeous Japanese-style breakfast set – it consists of 16 dainty dishes plus rice and miso soup.
3-15-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku
|Transport:||Tsukiji Station (Hibiya line), exit 1; Shintomicho Station (Yurakucho line); Higashi-Ginza Station (Asakusa line); Tsukijishijo Station (Oedo line)|
|Opening hours:||Free lunchtime concert: last Fri of the month 12.20pm-12.50pm, no reservation necessary|