Nishiarai Daishi (西新井大師), formally Sojiji (総持寺), is a relatively large Shingon Buddhist temple located in the northeastern part of Tokyo.
It is said to have been founded in 826 by Shingon Sect founder Kukai.
This temple is right in front of Tobu Daishi Line Daishi-mae Station, which is a station away from Tobu Skytree Line Nishiarai Station (and Daishi Line ends here).
Sanmon is the main gate of the temple. It was erected in the 19th century.
Dai-Hondo is the main hall of this temple, and it is dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu, a Buddhist divinity of mercy. It was reconstructed in 1971 with concrete after it was destroyed by fire.
Shoin is a type of building often used as a private space for monks.
Sankodo was created in 1834 and modified largely in 1884. It was designed so that as you followed the steps of the stairs you could go up to the third floor and down to the first floor in one way, and Buddhist statuettes were placed along the stairs, but the stairs seems to have been removed.
Shio Jizo,a stone statue of Jizo Bosatsu covered with salt, is said to remove the warts of prayers. You take a little bit of the salt from here when praying, and if the warts disappeared, you would offer twice the amount of the salt you took to this Jizo.
There's a wisteria tree which is said to be 700 years old, which blooms in late April.
There's a garden with a pond on the left side of the main hall. A small shrine of Benzaiten is placed here. Benzaiten is a Buddhist goddess of music, dance and fortune and is often enshrined near ponds, sea, rivers, etc.
Fudodo is dedicated to Fudo Myoo, a mighty Buddhist deity who destroys evil with force and fire.
Oku-no-in is an area which imitated the graveyard of Shingon sect founder Kukai located in Koyasan, Wakayama Prefecture.
Komyoden, made with concrete, is a building for ceremonies.
There's a garden of Chinese tree peonies, and about 2,500 trees consiting of 100 cultivars are planted. It will be open around April to May when they bloom (admission free).
Joya-no-kane & Hatsumoude
When the New Year arrives, Buddhist temples ring their huge bell hung in their precincts usually 108 times. At Nishiarai Daishi, ordinary people can ring the bell from 0AM of January 1 - you have only to line up, which means it will be rung more than 108 times.
This temple also attracts many Hatsumoude visitors. Hatsumoude is a popular custom which people pay their first visit to Shinto shrines and major Buddhist temples in the New Year.
Feb 3rd is Setsubun Day, the day before the arrival of spring, and many Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples hold a ritual throwing beans to invite good luck and ouster evil. Bean throwing event at Nishiarai Daishi is one of the most well-known sites in Tokyo. On this day, they also burn daruma dolls, which were sold as lucky charms in the past year and were replaced with new ones already.
Wind Chime Market
Wind chimes gathered from across Japan are sold.
Nishiarai Daishi Summer Festival
Bon-odori, a kind of traditional dance widely performed in summer, is to be held in the evening.