Author: Richard Perkins
Photos/Videos Taken: 2021/08/10
Address: 4-7-35 Shibakoen, Minato-ku,
Founded by the 8th founder of the Jōdo sect of Buddhism Yūyoshōsō, 三縁山広度院増上寺 (sanenzan kōdoin zōjōji) is a Buddhist temple that was founded in 1393. Part of the Jōdo sect of Buddhism, this temple became a Buddhist temple that retains the family graves of the Tokugawa shogunate (military generals). As one of the most prominent and well-known temples in Tokyo, it was originally built in a different location. Sanenzan Kōdoin Zōjōji was moved to its current location (the Minato ward of Tokyo near Hamamatsuchō station) back in 1598. This was an area that was full of nature, but as Tokyo became the megalopolis that it is today it lost that natural beauty. The street that leads up to this temple is now surrounded by large skyscrapers on either side.
Tokyo Tower can be seen just behind Sanenzan Kōdoin Zōjōji, and there's no doubt that many who come to visit Tokyo Tower first stop off and pray here. This is one temple that makes for a great photo but doesn’t have much to offer in terms of sightseeing. A large number of the buildings that were once in this precinct were lost in fires throughout war. For this reason, there are some who visit Sanenzan Kōdoin Zōjōji that may feel as if it doesn't offer enough to make it worth a visit.
For those movie buffs, particularly those that enjoy American movies, there’s a chance that you’ve seen Sanenzan Kōdoin Zōjōji before. This particular temple was featured in the 2013 action-packed movie "The Wolverine". The main character in this movie attends a funeral that was held there. In the middle of this funeral, a fight breaks out with the Japanese Mafia, the Yakuza. Although this fight seems to have been filmed at a different location, there is a beautiful shot of the main temple itself.
Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States of America, visited Sanenzan Kōdoin Zōjōji in the July of 1879. This tree (that can be found as soon as one enters the grounds) was planted to commemorate that visit.