Japan Tokyo Yanaka

Kokozan Daienji Temple

Historic sanctuary of Nichiren Buddhism with ties to ukiyo-e and the Sengoku-era.

Photo of Kokozan Daienji Temple, Japan (Daien-ji (Taito) 大円寺 (台東区) by Abasaa あばさー)

Kokozan Daienji Temple, nestled in Taito Ward, Tokyo, serves as a beacon of Nichiren Buddhism, rich in historical and cultural significance. Established in the Tensho period, the temple has endured through challenges such as a devastating fire and subsequent reconstruction, continuing to serve as a place of reverence and artistry.

About Kokozan Daienji Temple

Kokozan Daienji Temple, commonly known as Daienji, has a storied past that intertwines with the development of Japanese Buddhism and the arts. Founded by Daien-in Nikyo between 1532 and 1555, the temple was initially located near Ueno Shimizu-mon before relocating to the mountain of Kokozan in 1703, during the Genroku era. Despite being consumed by fire in 1768, the temple’s resilience was showcased through the rebuilding of the main hall in 1934, in the Showa era.

The temple grounds are a hub of cultural significance, featuring a monument dedicated to Suzuki Harunobu, the artist who pioneered nishiki-e, full-color woodblock printing often used in ukiyo-e. The monument’s calligraphy is the work of Naohiko Masaki, a renowned figure in Japanese art education. Daienji also honors Kasamori Osen, an Edo period beauty and muse to Harunobu.

Daienji is the final resting place of Nanjo Toshiken, a direct descendant of the esteemed Sengoku-era military commander, Motokiyo Nanjo, highlighting the temple’s role as a custodian of history. Visitors to the temple can engage with this historical narrative that continues to resonate into the present.

Each year, the Yanaka Kiku Matsuri (Daienji Goei-shiki), a chrysanthemum festival, is celebrated in October, attracting visitors and underscoring the temple’s ongoing religious and cultural importance.

For those visiting Kokozan Daienji Temple, it is advised to take a moment to appreciate the cultural monuments. The link to Kasamori Osen can be further appreciated at Kudoku-in Temple, which offers additional insight into the temple’s connections to Edo’s historical figures and narratives.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Kokozan Daienji Temple

C 15

 Chiyoda Line

 about 5 minute walk (400m)

Around Kokozan Daienji Temple

Kokozan Daienji Temple

Buddhist Temple in Tokyo

open 8am - 6pm
closed Irregularly


高光山大円寺, 東京

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Updated 13 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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