Seisho-ji is a temple located in the Toronomon Hills area of central Tokyo. It is part of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism and moved to its location on Mount Atago in 1600. It sits among a complex of other Buddhist temples and a Shinto Shrine. The various temples are separated by a set of gardens that wrap in and out of a wealthy urban high-rise office setting.
At the Seisho-ji temple itself, resident monks offer zazen orientation for any level of meditator. Timing is flexible while the temple is open (9:00-17:00). It depends on temple’s schedule; please contact staff (contact below).
It is less than 200 days until the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics are due to get under way, but among the Japanese public, fears over the virus and the spiralling cost of the Games mean most would rather see the event postponed or cancelled altogether.
The weekend’s top news with Monocle’s Tyler Brûlé, Urs Bühler, Eemeli Isoaho and Chandra Kurt, with commentary from our editors in London and Tokyo. Plus: what’s on the pages of Greece’s ‘Kathimerini’ newspaper.
Tokyo, Japan’s busy capital, mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to historic temples. The opulent Meiji Shinto Shrine is known for its towering gate and surrounding woods. The Imperial Palace sits amid large public gardens. The city’s many museums offer exhibits ranging from classical art (in the Tokyo National Museum) to a reconstructed kabuki theater (in the Edo-Tokyo Museum).
Monocle 24 ‘Tall Stories’: We visit the headquarters of the Tokyo timber wholesalers’ association, a building that “walks the walk” with its impressive wooden construction.
This project involved the relocation of the offices of the Association of Wood Wholesalers in Tokyo. It serves as a showcase to demonstrate the possibilities of wood as an urban construction material. Engawa, or Japanese terraces, allow a natural breeze to enter while shutting out strong sunlight for a comfortable indoor environment. Lumber were integrated into the building’s structure, and architectural exposed concrete was cast in cedar formwork. Since the building uses a large amount of wood, great attention was given to fire safety measures. The design focused on creating spatial continuity with the use of layering and natural light.
Held for the 19th time this year, the event was ranked among the TOP 3 biggest light up events in Japan in 2017. Ranked TOP by night view critics in Japan as best illumination event for five consecutive years, it has now become very popular. Over 5.0 million lights decorate the 100,000 ㎡ gardens touching the hearts of all visitors. Most of the 5.0 million light bulbs are LED type in an effort to consider the environment and to save energy.
Even before coronavirus, soaring fish prices and competition from big chains had wiped out more than half of Japan’s traditional sushi restaurants. With most owners at or near retirement, the pandemic is accelerating the demise of neighborhood sushi. Correspondent Lucy Craft looks at how fast-food sushi is remaking a dining tradition.
Within the Japanese garden in the middles of Showa Kinen Park, there is a separate bonsai tree exhibit. Here many of the trees are 100 years old, and even one that is 300 years old! I didn’t know that there are so many different kinds of seasonal bonsai trees; Japanese maple bonsai with the read leaves, or trees with fruits and berries. If you ever come to visit Showa Kinen Park, please be sure to stop by to see these old souls.