Author: Richard Perkins
Photos/Videos Taken: 2021/02/17
Address: 4-5 Tomihisacho, Shinjuku-ku,
Part of the Tendai sect of Buddhism, 自證院 (jishōin) is a Buddhist temple in the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo. The official name of this temple is 鎮護山圓融寺自證院 (chingosan enyūji jishōin). It’s uncertain when this temple was built but is where the daughter (Chiyohime) of the leader of the 尾張藩 (owari han), or Owari domain (Aichi prefecture), Tokugawa Mitsutomo was buried. The Buddhist name of Tokugawa Mitsutomo’s daughter was Jishōin Denkōzan Gyōkei Taishi, and after she died in 1640 the temple was renamed 本理山自証寺 (honrisan jishōji) using part of her name.
The grounds of this temple are quite small, so there isn’t a whole lot to see. However, there are several Yoshino cherry blossom trees here that are designated as a "Shinjuku green cultural asset". These cherry blossom trees are sure to look beautiful when they bloom. If you were to come and worship at this temple when the cherry blossoms are blooming, amongst the Buddhist statues there’s no doubt that this temple will be picturesque.
A fast fact, but the Greek foreigner Koizumi Yakumo who lived in Japan during the Meiji era (1868-1912) and wrote numerous books about Japan loved Jishōin temple, he visited it many times when he lived close by.