Tokyo in Pics


A photography blog about Tokyo, run by Australian photographer Rohan Gillett

Tokyo in Black and White - Kisshoin

One of my local temples is named Henshoji, which is near my station, Takaido, in Suginami ward.  It is a great little place, especially if you like temples.  The main hall looks a little run down and I’ve never seen any of the usual priests or other staff there, but it is by no means abandoned, as it has an active cemetery.   I love this place as it seems to be a little different.

The main entrance to Kisshoin

The main hall of Kisshoin

My favourite group of statues - maybe they all aren't grumpy

Outside the main gate is a small shrine

Kisshoin has lots and lots of statues.  The statues are all made of stone and quite small, and related to Buddhist stories.  They are really interesting.  My favourite is a group of six, all in similar poses, looking rather unhappy.  I just wish my reading abilities were a little bit better then I might be able to read the inscriptions carved on them.  When I go back again I’ll have to make an effort to find someone there and ask about them.

Nothing like a good temple roof to keep me happy and Kisshoin has a very good one

The nice thing about Henshoji, as I already mentioned, is that you never really see anybody there.  A few people go to pray, but basically you always have the place to yourself which makes photography there very easy.  If you are looking for an interesting yet local temple to shoot at, this might well be the place for you.

Jizo statues with Henshoji behind

As with all temples and shrines in Japan, I just love the architecture.  The shape of the roofs and tiles, combined with the traditional woodwork make them so beautiful.  And, especially with the smaller and more local ones, there usually aren’t that many people in them so walking around in them is invariably peaceful.

The gate to Kisshoin

If you want to see more of Tokyo’s major temples, and shrines, please check my main page for them here.  And if you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the section below.