Tokyo Japan Temple
The Tokyo Japan Temple is the 18th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On 9 August 1975, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that a temple would be built in Tokyo, Japan. Spencer W. Kimball, then President of the Church, said at a conference in Tokyo:
- And now we bring to you a matter of grave importance to all of the people of the Asian countries and the world. Yesterday, we held a meeting of the stake presidents and other leaders to consider this very serious matter. Brother Matthew Cowley, one of the Twelve Apostles, made a prediction that there would be temples in Asia and in Japan. And many of us have been almost holding our breath until the time could come when we could build a temple in this land. We, therefore, propose to you assembled here that we establish a temple in Tokyo, Japan, for all of Asia.
With this announcement, the audience broke out clapping and crying. With its completion, the Tokyo Japan Temple became the first temple built in Asia. A second Japanese temple was later built in Fukuoka, Japan.
Early Missionary Work in Japan
Mormon history is strong in Japan. The first Mormon missionaries were sent to Japan in 1901, by President Lorenzo Snow. For twenty years missionaries taught in Japan, but the work was slow, and there were still less than 200 members. With the beginning of World War I, the mission in Japan was closed and remained closed until after World War II. Many of the Mormon military men stationed in Japan were some of the best missionaries in Japan following the war. They along with the newly returned missionaries found members who had remained strong since the 1920s and others who were ready to accept the gospel. The Church in Japan grew slowly at first, but then began to grow more rapidly, and by the year 2000, there were 114,000 members in Japan.
The Temple Site
The temple site is .46 acres in a beautiful residential area across from the historical Arisugawa Memorial Park. The site works well because it is near the embassy and is only a five-minute walk from the subway station. The site had previously been used by the Church as a mission headquarters, but it was demolished to make room for the temple. The temple was designed to go up instead of out because land is scarce in the area. A parking garage is underneath the temple and an apartment for the temple president and matron is above the temple.
The temple has a total floor area of 52,590 square feet, two ordinance rooms, five sealing rooms, a baptismal font, Celestial room, and facilities for offices, laundry, and other necessities of the temple. The exterior of the temple is reinforced concrete covered with 289 pre-made panels of stone, which looks like light gray granite.
Public Open House and Temple Dedication
An open house was held 15 September through 18 October 1980, to allow the public to see the interior of the new Mormon temple. Spencer W. Kimball dedicated the Tokyo Japan Temple 27-29 October 1980. On 10 December 2004, a ceremony was held in which an Angel Moroni statue was added to the spire of the temple. The Tokyo Japan Temple serves members in Northern Japan and Vladivostok, Russia.
Temple News Updates
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the closure of the Tokyo Japan Temple later this year for extensive renovations. The temple will close in October 2017. The renovations will help maintain functionality, efficiency, and beauty. The temple will receive mechanical upgrades along with updates in finishes and furnishings. The Renovations are expected to be completed in 2020. Once the renovations are complete, a public open house and rededication services will be announced. While the temple is closed, Latter-day Saints will be able to attend neighboring temples.
- Spencer W. Kimball, “We Propose That We Establish a Temple … ,” Tambuli, Oct. 1980, 2
- Read The Book of Mormon in Japanese online
- Visit the official Church website in Japanese
- Official LDS Tokyo Japan Temple page
- Tokyo Japan Temple page
- Mormon Temple Worship - BBC Religion & Ethics
- Temples and Mormon Temples - Answers.com
- Early Christianity and Mormonism: The LDS Temple Endowment: An Introduction
- Mormon Missionary Work - Lightplanet
- Joseph Smith - American Prophet