Tokyo - 東京神殿 (1980)

A non-Church affiliated site, ldschurchtemples.org, provides an in-depth series of facts, figures, pictures and links on the Tokyo Japan Temple, dedicated in 1980. As noted there, the Tokyo Temple closed 30 Sep 2017 for refurbishment and is not scheduled to reopen until Jan 2021. Apparently, the nearby Asia East Area office and other Church properties near the temple will also be rebuilt and expanded significantly. Once official announcement is made, we'll post it here.


One the most memorable days of my mission came on August 10, 1975, a Sunday when all of the members had gone to the Budokan Hall in Tokyo for the first-ever Area Conference in Japan to listen to the words of President Spencer W. Kimball. From the Sendai Mission, only native Japanese and on-their-way-home missionaries were allowed to attend the Conference in Tokyo. This was especially painful to us serving in Iwaki, the closest mission city to Tokyo, only a short two-hour commuting-distance train ride away. In those pre-Shinkansen days two hours was very close; Sendai to Tokyo by train was at least four hours. Life was definitely not fair then either; all missionaries in the Tokyo and Nagoya missions were allowed to attend, even those who were 8-10 hours away. Sadly, the three of us non-native missionaries conducted a quiet, short sacrament meeting that day with no one attending.

In those early days of the mission, nearly all missionaries lived right in the rented building that also served as the church--Iwaki's was located very near the eki (train station). As the members returned by train from Tokyo and the Area Conference that evening, a few stopped by the church/elders quarters. "Chōrō-kikimashita ka? (Elder-did you hear?)," one member asked me. I'll never forget the ear-to-ear beaming smile on her face and the overwhelming spirit I felt when she shared what happened earlier, when President Kimball announced plans for a temple to be built on the site where the Tokyo Mission Home stood. The shock and surprise at this news was palpable; only 16 temples were operating at the time-the last one dedicated was the Washington DC Temple in 1974. (When dedicated in 1980, Tokyo's would become the 18th operating temple, after #17 Sao Paulo.) Needless to say, the temple announcement energized both members and missionaries in the ensuing months and gave us purpose and focus-a memory that still brings a warm feeling to me when I think about it.

Posted below is a picture taken by Sakata branch members at the Area Conference at the Budokan in Tokyo where the temple was announced. Brent Duke, one of the on-their-way-home Sendai missionaries, reported, "I remember how quiet it was as Pres. Kimball led up to the announcement and for a few seconds after (as the translation was completed)...then the building filled with applause, the members and missionaries could not contain their joy. What a great way to end my mission!"

Here's a YouTube video (Japanese, with some subtitles) about the Tokyo Temple that includes President Kimball's surprise announcement complete with the applause Duke Choro witnessed. I believe this clip was a part of a video produced for the 2001 100-year commemoration of the Church in Japan. Warning: it makes me choke up every time I watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mission History Section Links:
Senkyoushi-go: Teruya Jidai   post-77
Temples:  Tokyo   Fukuoka   Sapporo