Any travel around the world would not be complete without a stay in ancient Tokyo. The ancient temples and shrines are awe-inspiring and the memories will last a lifetime. This history-rich region of the planet is well worth the visit for anyone who loves experiencing history. There are many temples in the city, and we will explore just five of the best-rated temples. Here are a few that you should check out if you ever visit Tokyo.
The Magic of Bentendo Hall Temple
Bentendo Hall Temple, a Benzaiten temple was built in the early part of the 17th century. The builder of this intriguing temple was a feudal lord known as Mizunoya Katsutaka. The original structure was destroyed during WWII by extensive bombing. A replacement structure was completed in 1958 and is what is now regarded as of Bentendo Hall Temple. The temple is actually located on an island in Shinobazu Pond, which is part of Ueno Park Tokyo.
Breathtaking Denzuin Temple
Denzuin Temple is a Buddhist temple that was built by Tokugawa Leyasu in dedication to his mother. The temple was originally known as Muryozan Denzuin Jikuji. The temple is situated in the Bunkyo region. The Denzuin Temple was the inspiration and story setting for the Japanese novelist Kafu Nagai.
The Wonder of Gokuku-ji Temple
Gokuku-ji is a located in Tokyo’s Bunkyo-ku. This is a Buddhist temple, first established by the mother of the Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi. The temple is well known for being the central temple that presides over the practice of the Japanese tea ceremony throughout the country’s temples. Emperor Mejii, in 1873 declared the temple the imperial mausoleum. In fact several of his children and the emperor himself are buried within the temple. To this day it is still regarded as the Imperial mausoleum.
Intriguing Dempoin Temple
Another Buddhist temple, Dempoin is situated near to Sensoji Temple, within the Asakusa district of the Taito Ward of the city. There is a wonderful Japanese garden and pond that is free for the public to tour, but the temple itself is usually not open for public touring. The garden and pond site is similar in design to Katsura Imperial Villa located in Kyoto.
The Splendor of Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple
Centrally located in the Asakusa District, Taito Ward of the city is Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple. This Buddhist temple is of the Jodo Shinshu sect, and is defined as Jodoshin sect Higashi-honganji-ha Higashi-Honganji Temple. The Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple was first constructed by Kyonyo, the 12th Priest of Higashi-Honganji. During the period of around 1651it and was known as the Edo Gobo Kozuiji Temple. A fire destroyed the temple in 1657, forcing the temple to be relocated to the current location in Asakua, being then named Asakua Honganji Temple. In 1965 the name was again changed, now to Tokyo Higashi-Honganji Temple. In 1981 following a conflict known as ‘Ohigashi Sodo’, it became independent of the Otani sect.
When in Japan, a visit to ancient shrines and temples is a must. It will keep you spellbound and in a state of wonder long after returning to your home country. The country is rich in culture and history, but the biggest pleasure comes from the warm, friendly and welcoming people you will meet during your tour.
If you’re interested in visiting some of these amazing temples and shrines, Singapore Airlines offers flights from Los Angeles to Tokyo. For more information visit:
There is something about many cities around the world, that continually try to outdo each other by building the world’s tallest building or tower.
The topic also has some controversy as the definition as to what is exactly the tallest structure is not always clear. Some buildings just add a bigger antennae to the top of their structure to claim the title.
Wikipedia even has an entry on the world’s tallest buildings.
Tokyo is now trying to enter the competition with the construction of the Tokyo Sky Tree.
When completed, the tower will boast a height of 610 meters, or 2,001 feet. It would rank along with the Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower as the third highest man made structure in the world. The Burj Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is currently the highest man made structure and beats all other buildings and towers in all categories.
The Tokyo Sky Tree will be used to broadcast digital television over Tokyo and is located 1km east of Asakusa.
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October 18, 2009 at 9:08 am
Despite losing its bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games, Tokyo is still planning to bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals.
FIFA requires the host city to have a stadium that seats at least 80,000 people for the opening and final games. The stadium that was used in the 2002 World Cup final in Yokohama only holds 70,000, making it necessary for Tokyo to build another stadium.
The 2010 World Cup will be held in South Africa while Brazil will host the 2014 World Cup.
Not too surprisingly, Tokyo lost its bid for the 2016 Olympic games, with Rio de Janeiro defeating its other contenders Chicago and Madrid. It will be the first time that South America has hosted the Olympic games.
“Tokyo’s bid lacked passion, it didn’t capture the voters’ hearts,” said Munehiko Harada, sports sciences professor at Waseda University.
Not even Barack Obama could save Chicago’s bid when they were eliminated in the first round of voting.
I think the Japanese government are kind of fed up with wasteful government spending. Most of the stadiums that were built when Japan held the World Cup go unused and were a huge expenditure for tax payers. Since China held the 2008 Olympics, I also think it will be some time before the games are held again in Asia.
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October 4, 2009 at 7:24 pm
Contrary to popular belief, Tokyo should not be crossed off your destinations list on the basis of high prices. It is easy to stay there without parting with too much cash, as long as you are savvy with your spending.
The public transport system is excellent, hundreds of Tokyo hostels have opened up in recent years to cater to the increased number of visitors, food can be very affordable and most of the main sites are free to visit.
As Tokyo has the most extensive network of surface lines, the train is the best way to get around. The Yamnote line links all the major districts together, of which there are many including must-visits Akihabara (electronic city) and Shibuya (youth city).
Despite being established in the 15th century, Tokyo is a 24-hour modern city with fascinating technology part of everyday life. If, however you want to soak up some more historic culture, you can also take the train out of the city and visit places like Kamakura, where you will find the 2nd largest bronze Buddha in the country.
The cheapest option is a hostel; Tokyo hostels are located in every district of the city and usually comprise of dorm-style mixed rooms. It is very uncommon to find single sex dorms in Tokyo, so if you would feel unsafe in a mixed dorm, the best choice is to go for a private room. Only slightly dearer at a hostel, they usually have the added extras of an attached bathroom and free breakfast.
One of the important things to remember when booking a Tokyo hostel, though, is that many of them have lockout rules so if you’re planning a night out make sure you check their policy before you book.
A hostel that definitely deserves a mention is the Ace Inn in Shinjuku; its capsule wooden beds in a grid-like formation will add an interesting tale to your trip, even if you stay for just one night.
Although the city recently received 191 Michelin Stars (double that of its nearest competitor Paris) for its internationally acclaimed cuisine, there are still plenty of opportunities to taste the local specialties without having to fork out a lot of money.
If you can stomach it, a visit to the Tsukiji fish market early morning is an interesting way to see the local traders in action, just get on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line to Tsukiji station. Outside, the wholesale market is a mixture of wholesale and retail shops that sell groceries, seafood, and the freshest sushi you can buy.
As a huge part of Japanese cuisine, sushi is readily accessible on almost every street in the city. To try it on a budget, visit one of the many izakayas – popular informal bar/pub eateries. They are cheap and friendly to newcomers and travelers, with the staff often advising and informing your choices.
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September 11, 2009 at 8:15 am
I suppose anyone not living in Tokyo probably can’t understand the rise in popularity of cat cafes in Tokyo and “rent a pet” services. This article describes the author’s experience of visiting a “cat cafe”.
Most people in Tokyo live in tiny apartments which are often barely big enough for one person, let alone pets. Many apartment owners also don’t allow their tenants to keep pets, but it doesn’t stop people from being pet or animal lovers.
Japanese also work long hours making it difficult to take proper care of their pets. I remember having to feed my bosses cat when they were on holiday and even though their apartment was a decent size, the place smelt of cat you know what.
No wonder Tokyo is often considered one of the most expensive cities in the world. Shoichi Fujimaki has opened a new upscale ramen shop in Meguro ward where the average bowl of noodles costs around 3,000 yen.
“People will pay more for nice things,” rationalizes the 40-year-old, sporting closely cropped hair and a white chef’s coat pulled over a pink, collared dress shirt. “If I thought it was too expensive, I wouldn’t be in this business.”
The Emperor Ramen sells for 10,000 yen and requires a reservation three days in advance.
A FedEx cargo plane crashed and killed its two pilots in Tokyo on Tuesday. The wreckage was quickly cleaned up by workers and the runway was soon reopened.
“We have a team of experts here to work closely with our folks here in Japan, and with the government authorities, to get all the necessary information about the incident, and we’re going to spend as much time as necessary until we get to all the issues and the facts and the information that we need,” said William Margaritis, senior vice president of communication of FedEx.
See crash footage at Narita airport here on YouTube:
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March 25, 2009 at 11:54 am
Tokyo is now the most expensive city in the world to live in according to research done by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The rise in the yen (or collapse of the dollar) probably has something to do with this.
London has fallen to 27th place, from 8th ranking 2008, because of the plunge in the value of sterling, while New York has jumped from 39th rank in 2008 to 23rd place.
By comparing the ranking of cities in September 2008 (when the price survey was conducted) to the ranking in February 2009 (adjusting the September price data for recent exchange-rate movements), analysts see a sharp change in number as a result of the currency dislocation.
“Two factors drive the relative cost of living: local prices and exchange rates. Normally our ranking of cities by cost of living is relatively stable, but in the current global climate changes in exchange rates have significantly altered our assessment of the most and least expensive cities,” said Jon Copestake, editor of the report.
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March 13, 2009 at 3:30 pm