The ultramodern gate and fierce guardian statues of Isshin-ji Temple are a stark contrast to the nearby Shitenno-ji Temple. Dating back to 1185, the temple is now known for its Okotsubutsu—a Buddha statue made of the cremated remains of more than 200,000 people laid to rest at Isshin-ji. Far from morbid, the statue is meant to reaffirm one's respect for the deceased and to turn them into an object of everyday worship. An Okotsubutsu is made every 10 years, the first
in 1887. Though 12 Okutsubutsu have been made, due to a direct hit to the temple during World War II, only the five crafted after the war remain. To get here take the Sakisuji Subway to Ebisu Cho Station and walk east along Isshin-ji-mae. The temple is on the right soon after passing under the expressway.