NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


栃木 徳蔵寺 Tochigi Tokuzou-dera Tokuzoji Temple

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Tokuzoji Temple in Saruta-cho, Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture is a temple of the Tendai sect. The main object of worship is Amida Nyorai. The temple is popularly called “Ping Pong Temple” or “Teragoya (temple school) Ping Pong,” because it has been striving to create the place where people can have a lively conversation and have a good time.
The 500 Rakan statues at this temple is designated as a prefecture’s Important Cultural Property and is one of Japan’s Three Finest 500 Rakan Statues; the others are at Rakan Temple in Yabakei in Kyushu and at Kenchoji Temple in Kamakura. This temple possesses many other treasures including the statue of Aizen Myoo, the deity who gets rid of the bad luck, Sen-Koshin-to (stone monument) and Kana Jizo. As one of the Ashikaga Shichifukujin (Seven Gods of Good Fortune) temples, Tokuzoji Temple worships the deity Daikokuten.
People gather together at this temple every month to practice ping pong in the precinct. The ping pong tournament is also held on the first Sunday in September every year. The tournament has been held for over 30 years and has been providing the place for citizens to communicate each other.

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9-3 Saruta-cho, Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan 326-0023
Tokuzoji Temple

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