Tokuganji Temple in Gyotoku
with many beautiful pine trees standing at Teramachidori
Road and Takumibori Canal is a famous temple having its long history and
some stories deeply related to Tokugawa Shogun Family
and the great samurai worrier Musashi Miyamoto
. Ieyasu Tokugawa
deeply believed this temple, his son Hidetada donated the statue of Buddha
as the principal image of it, his grandson Iemitsu gave Shuin (a license)
to hold lands and Musashi Miyamoto
left his drawing and letters. The main
gate, the bell tower and the scripture house built from late Edo period
to Meiji era are designated as the municipal cultural properties of Ichikawa city
. Moreover, Tokuganji Temple is the first temple of the 33 pilgrimages in Gyotoku and Urayasu
Why don't you visit Tokuganji Temple?
The History of Tokuganji Temple
Kaigansan Tokuganji Temple
First Tokuganji Temple was a thatched hat called Fukoin, a branch temple
of Shoganji Temple of Jodo sect of Buddhism
. In 1610, Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder of Tokugawa Shogunate
, deeply believed in and built some new buildings, then the temple's name
was changed Tokuganji it was named after Toku from Tokugawa and Gan from
Shoganji. And the venerable Enyo Fuzan became the founder of Tokuganji
The principal image of Tokuganji is the statue of Amidanyorai (Amitabha Tahagata) that was carved by Unkei
by the order of Masako Hojo who was the wife of Yoritomo Minamoto
, once Ieyasu moved it from Kamakura to Edo for the wife of his son Hidetada,
the second Shogun. After she had passed away, the venerable Chuzan, the
second abbot of this temple, kept to take care of it as the principal image.
Then, Iemitsu, the third Shogun, gave the Shuin to keep lands to look after
the statue carefully.
The main hall of the temple was burnt down in 1856, then it was built again
in 1916. Nevertheless, the statues of Nio (Deva Kings) in the main gate
was moved from Hozenji Temple that was Betto (the adminstrator) of Katsushika Hachimangu Shrine
in Yawata during the Meiji Restoration. Moreover, Rindo Style Kyozo (the
rotating sutra repository) and Migawari Kannondo Hall (the hall for the
vicariousness kannon) are there in Tokuganji Temple. And the statue of
the Great King Yama (Emma) carved by Tankei is dedicated in the main hall.
In addition, the memorial pagoda for the repose of drawn people by the
Eitaibashi in Fukagawa
Edo fallen down in 1807 and a stone jizo for the consolation of Musashi
Miyamoto stand in the temple. And also some calligraphy by Musashi and
a picture of a ghost by Okyo Maruyama are presrved as the properties of
Once Tokuganji Temple was used as the temporary office of Inba Prifectural Government (former Chiba prefecture) in December 1871. And also the Gyotoku Elementary School was opened in a temporary buildings using some buildings in this temple in 1873.
The Noted Cultural Properties in Tokuganji Temple
The main gate, the sutra repository and the bell tower are designated
by Ichikawa City as the cultural properties. And the stone jizo for the
consolation of Musashi Miyamoto stands in the temple. Moreover, some famous
properties a picture of Dharma by Musashi and a picture of a ghost by Okyo
Maruyama are exhibited in the Otoya of November 16th every year.
The Sanmon Gate of Tokuganji Temple
The Sanmon Gate
The Sanmon Gate at Tokuganji Temple was built in 1775.
This gate was used a basic way of building the tower gate style. It is the middle size gate, and it measures 8.44m length and 5.18m width. It is a typical tower gate built in the middle of Edo period and there is any omitting the structure. The noted works on the gate is the sculptures on it. They were carved in mid-Edo period by sculptors from Edo even in Shimousa.
In addition, the Deva Kings in the gate were moved from the Zuishinmon
Gate in Katsushika Hachimangu Shrine in Yawata to protect them from the
law of the separation of Buddhism and Shintoisma and the anti-Buddhist
movement soon after the Meiji Restoration.
The Rotating Sutra Repository of Tokuganji Temple
The Rotating Sutra Repository
The rotating sutra repository in Tokuganji temple was built in 1887. There
is a a rotating octagonal hall storing Issaikyo (complete collection of
Scriptures) in it. The size of it measures 5.46m length and 5.46m width.
It was built in the godown style with wooden wall on its lower part. The
rotating hall could be round and the wooden eaves with some scruptures
are very functional and shows the typical carving techniques in Meiji era.
Though it was built in Meiji ear, the rotating style is very precious and
The Bell Tower of Tokuganji Temple
The Bell Tower
The bell tower in Tokuganji Temple was built in1775, it is the almost
similar ages when the sanmon gate was built in.
The bell tower is built in the basic style, the size in the second floor measures 4.02m length and 3.2m width, and it on the base measures 7.47m length and 6.77m width. There is any omitting the structure so it is a typical middle size and bell tower. Moreover, the sculptures on the tower were carved more deeply than they are on the sanmon gate, and the expressions on them were also exaggerated, so the date and sculptors of the tower might be different from the gate.
Joya no Kane (the bell ringing out the old year) ring out from the Bell
Tower in Tokuganji Temple at the last night of every year.
The Stone Jizo for the Consolation of Musashi Miyamoto
The Stone Jizo for the Consolation of Musashi Miyamoto in Tokuganji
There is a legend that he first met a boy having lost his father named
Iori (later he became his son in law) at Fujiwara in Funabashi city
where Fujiwara Kannondo hall
that Tokuganji Temple hold stands when Musashi Miyamoto went on the Hitachiji
way to Edo after his trip around Ouu legion (the northern part of Japan).
Moreover, according to Katsushikashiryaku, Musashi was died at Myoden in
Gyotoku. Anyway, the samurai worrier Musashi Miyamoto visited Tokuganji
Temple in Hongyotoku that Ieyasu Tokugawa had believed in. The legend of
Musashi Miyamoto was told in Gyotoku area from generation to generation
as the memorial tower for the consolation of him stands in Tokuganji Temple.
房総叢書 紀元二千六百年記念 第8卷葛飾紀
房総叢書 紀元二千六百年記念 第6卷葛飾誌略
Kaigansan Tokuganji Temple
- Tokuganji Temple has a great accessibility from both Narita and Haneda
- From Narita International Airport, take JR Sobu-express line, transfer
the line at Nishi-funabashi to Tozai line of Tokyo Metro bound to Nakano
or Mitaka, get off Myoden Sta. And also take Keisei-line, transfer the
line at Funabashi to Sobu-Local line, and transfer the line at Nishi-funabashi
to Tozai line of Tokyo Metro bound to Nakano or Mitaka, get off Myoden
Sta. It takes minimally 60 minutes from Narita Airport.
- From Haneda International Airport, take Keikyu-line bound to Narita, transfer
the line at Nihonbashi to Tozai line of Tokyo Metro bound to Nishifunabashi,
Tsudanuma or Katsutadai, get off Myoden Sta.
- From Tokyo (Otemachi) Sta, take Tozai line of Tokyo Metro bound to Nishi-funabashi,
Tsudanuma or Katsutadai, get off Myoden Sta.
- From Akihabara Sta, take Sobu line bound to Chiba, Tsudanuma or Nishi Funabashi,
transfer the line at Nishifunabashi to Tozai line of Tokyo Metro, get off
- Take 10 minute walk from Myoden Sta.
- 5-22 Hongyotoku, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-ken
The Noted Spots near Tokuganji Temple