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Zojo-ji Temple

Founded in 1393, Zojo-ji is the family temple of the Tokugawa Shogunate and has been at its present location since 1598. At one time the temple encompassed an area of 836,000 square meters, but various fires and the loss of Tokugawa political clout have reduced its size, with most of its present-day structures being post-war. Yet the temple grounds are still vast. As Zojo-ji rests beneath Tokyo Tower, the juxtaposition of modern and traditional architecture provides perhaps Tokyo’s top photo opportunity. Another worthwhile shot is that of the two-storied Sangedatsu-mon, or Main Gate-21 meters high and almost 400 years old. Zojo-ji is the chief temple of the Pure Land sect of Buddhism and contains the tombs of six Tokugawa shoguns, including that of Hidetada Tokugawa, the second shogun.