The main hall of Nishi Arai Daishi temple, which boasts nearly 1,400 years of history, is large but not very old. The current main hall was rebuilt in 1971 after being destroyed by fire in 1966. There are other historical structures within the temple grounds, such as Sazae-do Hall (built in 1884), the only one still standing in Tokyo, and the temple gate built in the late Edo period (the photo above shows the gate), but for those of little faith, it is not the structures but the treasures owned by the temple that attract the interest of visitors to Nishi Arai Daishi.
According to the temple's official website, Nishi Arai Daishi is in possession of several national treasures, important cultural properties, and important works of art. However, it is difficult to see them. The statue of Zao Gongen, a national treasure, is deposited in the Tokyo National Museum, but other important cultural properties are not open to the public. It is a high hurdle for a non-researcher and a mere curious person to visit the temple.
What caught my attention was an event called “Hokusai-e" (Hokusai Commemoration). As the name suggests, the “Hokusai-e" is an event to exhibit Katsushika Hokusai's original painting "Kobo Daishi Shuho-zu" owned by the temple. If you visit at this time, you can see Hokusai's paintings even if you are just a curious person. I decided to visit Nishi Arai Daishi next time during the Hokusai-e, and left the precincts of the temple.
|Dec 2023 ARCHITECTURE TOKYO
|GATE GIRL NISHIARAI RUN TEMPLE
December 23, 2023
SONY ALPHA 7R V
ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF