Honmonji Temple, in Ikegami, was established by Nichiren (the founder of Nichiren Buddhism) in 1274. It sits on top of a hill some 350 odd steps from street level. There is however an elevator that you can use to reach the top or alternatively you can attain it via a road way. I used the stairway for exercise however I was quite puffed out when I finished climbing the stairs.
The temple has very large open spaces and it is extremely peaceful and seems to be in a world of its own – not unlike Meiji Jingu for similar reasons. The grounds house a number of historical structures, such as a five storied pagoda that is the oldest in the Kanto region, a mausoleum where Nichiren’s ashes rest in peace, the home in which Nichiren died in 1282, and a memorial monument where Nichiren was cremated which is currently being renovated and will be on display again from March 2010.
I enjoyed my visit to Honmonji and took quite a few photographs and was so pleased to have been given permission to take one photo in the main hall where photographs are forbidden.
Smith’s School of English – Koenji