In Tokyo, Japan
Looking down on a slice of the vast city from the Tokyo Tower, I was struck by this structure standing out in the crowded landscape.
Which of these is it?
A. History museum
B. Religious temple
C. Sports arena
D. Concert hall
My first guess when taking this shot was “concert hall.” I imagined throngs of people climbing the terra cotta-colored red stairs to see a traditional noh or classic kabuki performance. Or maybe catching a pop act like BTS or Justin Timberlake.
But it’s neither a concert hall, nor museum, nor arena. The answer is B. It’s a temple of the “Inner Trip Reiyukai,” an offshoot of Buddhism. Also known as the Shakaden Reiyukai Temple, this place serves quite a number of humanistic purposes, including holding a reservoir of 400 tons of water for the city’s emergency use.