located in Bunkyo Ward of Tokyo
and serves the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho
Line. Opened in October 1974, the
station consists of an island platform
(a center platform where a single
platform lies between two tracks
running in opposite direction but
serving the same line).
Gokokuji Station is best known for
the temple of the same name that
is located just 1 minute on foot
from it, the Gokokuji Temple.
Temple is a Buddhist temple built
in 1681 as headquarters of the Buzan
school of the Shingon sect of Buddhism.
It was built by the 5th Tokugawa
Shogun, Tsunayoshi, at the request
of his mother. In 1873, Emperor
Meiji declared Gokokuji the imperial
mausoleum, and so it remains till
today. Emperor Meiji and several
of his children are buried here.
Temple, which is situated on top
of a hill, is the largest temple
in Tokyo and is dedicated to the
goddess of mercy and the Kannon
image of amber from India.
survived the many earthquakes, fires,
and the World War II bombings, the
temple building is still the original.
Surrounding the temple building
is a large cemetery, the Toshimagaoka
It is here
that Emperor Meiji and his children
Temple is an important temple for
another reason as well. It is the
central temple that oversees the
practice of all the Japanese tea
ceremonies in all of Japan.
Temple is designated as Important
Cultural Property of Japan.
or Flower Festival ,
is held at Gokokuji
Temple every year on April 6. It
is an important festival as it celebrates
the birthday of Buddha. Flowers
are the theme of the festival as
it is believed that Buddha was born
in a garden and flowers bloomed
at his birth to welcome him. Coincidentally,
Hana Matsuri coincides with the
blooming of the cherry blossoms
in Japan. On this day, processions
of floats are taken
out with children dressed in their
chanting their way to the temple.
At the temple, the Hanamido,
or the flower hall, is decorated
with flowers and a baby Buddha statue
is placed in the center, also adorned
with flowers. Worshippers approach
the statue and pour sweet tea on
its head as offering. Special prayers
Mary's Cathedral, located a 5 minute
walk from Gokokuji Station, is the
seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese
of Tokyo. It was originally built
in 1899, but the building was destroyed
during the World War II bombings.
A new building was designed by the
well known architect Kenzo
Tange (1913-2005) and constructed
between 1961 and 1964. The new
cathedral design is a piece of modern
architecture. It is in the shape
of a cross from which the walls
rise up at an angle. To this main
rhomboid structure, secondary rectangular
constructions are added connected
by pathways and platforms. The main
structure is the main prayer hall,
while the secondary buildings are
the baptistery and the baptismal
font. The bell tower, which stands
a little away from the main cathedral
building, is 60 meters tall. The
whole exterior of the structures
is stainless steel. The inside of
the cathedral holds a solemn look
with its dark-colored curved walls.
On the whole, St. Mary's Cathedral
has an amazing look and is well
worth a visit.