Japan is filled with temples – no matter what part you visit, you can find at least one in the surrounding area. The fact that Japan has been able to preserve its history so well is a fantastic feat. By visiting any of the temples, you’re able to take a step back into history for a little while.
The Kuan Ti Miao Temple in Yokohama, Japan, is a beautiful temple featuring bright red and gold colors and intricate details on the building, including the roof and archway. This is an excellent spot to travel to if you want to see a temple still in use.
Here’s what’s interesting about the temple, it’s a Chinese temple and not a Japanese temple. It was built in the mid-1800s.
After the port of Yokohama opened in 1859, many Chinese people moved here to sell goods/services. What started as a small statue of Guan Yu, a celebrated Chinese military general, turned into a temple in 1871 in Chinatown.
This temple has withstood earthquakes, war, and even a large fire. Each time, it has been rebuilt. The final rebuilding occurred in 1990, and it has remained perfectly preserved since.
Kuan Ti Miao Temple Today
When you visit Kuan Ti Maio Temple, also known as Kanteibyo, in its current state, you’ll walk through a bright archway where you’ll be handed five incense sticks. These are used to pray with, and you will be provided instructions on how to use them. Once you’re past the archway, you’ll find a courtyard that leads directly into the temple.
Note: Take all of your pictures before entering the temple, as photography is not allowed inside.
The interior of the temple is stunning and jaw-dropping. You won’t believe the number of details just found in the intricate ceiling or the carvings on the columns. Each area was planned out by a Chinese architect and features pieces from Taiwan, Beijing, and China.
Entry to the temple is free, though you can purchase incense for praying. Don’t worry; you will be provided instructions on how to use them.
What To see at Kuan Ti Miao Temple
Expect to see one large shrine composing of multiple figures who are prayed to. The shrine is filled with candles and surrounded by hanging lanterns. Each figure represents an emperor, warrior, god/goddess, or protector. Below are some of the depicted figures you can find here.
1. Jade Emperor
This emperor is considered to be the overseer of both Earth and the Heavens. He also rules all of the gods and goddesses.
2. Holy Emperor Lord Guan Yu
Interestingly, this emperor is known both as the God of War and the God of Wealth. His red-painted face often gives him away.
3. Di Mu Niang Niang
She is also known as mother earth and signifies fertility and protection from natural disasters.
4. Zhou Cang
This figure is the protector of Kuan Ti Miao. He is also known as the weapon holder and overseer of Guan Yu’s Green Dragon Crescent Blade.
5. Guan Ping
Guan Ping is the son of Guan Yu and is considered the second protector of Kuan Ti Miao and the other God of War.
How To Get Here
You can get to Kuan Ti Miao by bus or train. There are multiple routes you can take depending on where you are coming from.
By Bus: Take bus lines 8,20, or 58 to Chuukagi Iriguchi. It is a three-minute walk from this exit.
By Train: You can take the Minatomirai Line to Motomachi/Chinatown. After getting to this stop, it will take you about five minutes to walk to the temple.
Visiting the Kuan Ti Maio Temple is truly an unforgettable experience. Viewing the main shrine and seeing the number of details put into rebuilding this temple is incredible. You’ll be left wanting to visit this spot multiple times to take in the amazing architecture.