Denpō-in temple garden, Tokyo

By Jane B. & Clyde F. Holt
This item appears on page 14 of the April 2017 issue.
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The item “Horseback Archery, Tokyo” (Feb. ’17, pg. 4) mentioned the Yabusame festival in Asakusa, which is a district in Tokyo’s Taitō ward. During a visit to Japan, we visited Sensō-ji, an ancient Buddhist temple in Asakusa. Although we’ve visited the temple often, that 2014 visit provided us a new treat.

As we walked from the metro station toward Senso¯-ji, we stopped to look at the Chingō-do hall, dedicated to the tanuki, a pot-bellied raccoon dog represented in statues all over Japan. We peered through the perimeter wall into the garden of Denpō-in (Denboin).

Having read that the garden was closed to the public, we figured this was the only way we’d be able to see it. However, a very kind woman who was also visiting Chingō-do told us that Denpō-in was, in fact, open for a short time in the spring with a special exhibition and that we must go visit. So we did. 

From March to May, for a mere ¥300 (less than $3), visitors can see the exhibit and stroll in the garden. To reach the garden, we walked through a large hall in the Denpō-in temple, where the display of treasures was mounted.

The paintings and artifacts exhibited were truly wonderful, all the more so since we knew this very special place was not always open to visitors. The main hall of the shrine was closed to the public, but from its interior, tea was provided for all visitors and served under a wisteria-covered pergola.

The garden, itself, was serene, lovely and peaceful — a quiet place in the midst of the busy Sensō-ji precinct. The pond and cherry trees were especially photogenic, and a stroll around the pond — under sakura (flowering cherry trees) and across a small bridge — provided many shifting views. 

Unfortunately, though some may have found it amusing, we could see both Skytree (a broadcasting tower, the second-tallest man-made structure in the world) and the 5-storied pagoda of Sensō-ji from many spots in the garden. 

Seeing both buildings in the same photo was interesting, but we worked hard to get some photos without the borrowed landscape that included Skytree.

JANE B. & CLYDE F. HOLT

Hinesburg, VT

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

The item “Horseback Archery, Tokyo” (Feb. ’17, pg. 4) mentioned the Yabusame festival in Asakusa, which is a district in Tokyo’s Taitō ward. During a visit to Japan, we visited Sensō-ji, an ancient Buddhist temple in Asakusa. Although we’ve visited the temple often, that 2014 visit provided us a new treat.

As we walked from the metro station toward Senso¯-ji, we stopped to look at the Chingō-do hall, dedicated to the tanuki, a pot-bellied raccoon dog represented in statues all over Japan. We peered through the perimeter wall into the garden of Denpō-in (Denboin).

Having read that the garden was closed to the public, we figured this was the only way we’d be able to see it. However, a very kind woman who was also visiting Chingō-do told us that Denpō-in was, in fact, open for a short time in the spring with a special exhibition and that we must go visit. So we did. 

From March to May, for a mere ¥300 (less than $3), visitors can see the exhibit and stroll in the garden. To reach the garden, we walked through a large hall in the Denpō-in temple, where the display of treasures was mounted.

The paintings and artifacts exhibited were truly wonderful, all the more so since we knew this very special place was not always open to visitors. The main hall of the shrine was closed to the public, but from its interior, tea was provided for all visitors and served under a wisteria-covered pergola.

The garden, itself, was serene, lovely and peaceful — a quiet place in the midst of the busy Sensō-ji precinct. The pond and cherry trees were especially photogenic, and a stroll around the pond — under sakura (flowering cherry trees) and across a small bridge — provided many shifting views. 

Unfortunately, though some may have found it amusing, we could see both Skytree (a broadcasting tower, the second-tallest man-made structure in the world) and the 5-storied pagoda of Sensō-ji from many spots in the garden. 

Seeing both buildings in the same photo was interesting, but we worked hard to get some photos without the borrowed landscape that included Skytree.

JANE B. & CLYDE F. HOLT

Hinesburg, VT