Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tokyo Japan Temple

18th operating temple; closed for renovation; exterior and interior renovations underway
Tokyo Japan Temple

© 2015, Richard N. Crichton. All rights reserved.


5-8-10 Minami Azabu
Tokyo  106-0047


NO clothing rental available
NO cafeteria available
NO patron housing available
NO distribution center nearby (Store Locator)


9 August 1975

Construction Commencement: 

10 April 1978

Public Open House: 

15 September–18 October 1980


27–29 October 1980 by Spencer W. Kimball


0.46 acres

Exterior Finish: 

Structural steel and reinforced concrete faced with 289 panels of precast stone, having the appearance of light gray granite

Ordinance Rooms: 

Two ordinance rooms (stationary) and five sealing

Total Floor Area: 

52,590 square feet

Temple Renovation

The Tokyo Japan Temple closed on September 29, 2017, for an extensive renovation project that will include significant changes to the interior, exterior, and auxiliary buildings. The historic temple, the first in Asia, was dedicated in 1980. The renovation will be followed by a public open house and rededication ceremony. Temple patrons will be accommodated at the Fukuoka Japan Temple
88th operating temple
Fukuoka Japan Temple
and Sapporo Japan Temple
151st operating temple
Sapporo Japan Temple

Temple Locale

The Tokyo Japan Temple is located in one of the loveliest residential areas of Tokyo across from the lush vegetation of historical Arisugawa Memorial Park. The site was chosen for its location near many schools and embassies. Transportation to the temple is excellent, as only a five-minute walk is required from the Hiroo subway station. Next door to the temple is an annex building that functions as a meetinghouse and a patron housing facility.

Temple Facts

The Tokyo Japan Temple was the first temple built in Asia (and in Japan).

The Tokyo Japan Temple was originally named the Tokyo Temple.

The Tokyo Japan Temple is one of only two temples where a traditional groundbreaking ceremony was not held. (The other is the Paris France Temple
156th operating temple
Paris France Temple

The Tokyo Japan Temple was built on the site of the former mission home. Additional property was successfully acquired on either side, allowing for a more beautiful and functional building to be designed and adjoining annexes to be added for worker apartments and patron housing.

Visitors to the public open house of the Tokyo Japan Temple numbered about 48,000. Some attended in the robes of their religion.

A gilded statue of the angel Moroni was added to the spire of the Tokyo Japan Temple on December 10, 2004.

Temple History

On Sunday, July 17, 1949, Elder Matthew Cowley made the first prophecy regarding the Tokyo Japan Temple at the dedicatory services for the old Tokyo mission home—the site where the temple now stands. Elder Harrison Ted Price, a missionary serving in the Northern Far East Mission, recorded in his journal: "In this prayer, he told of countless blessings from the Lord that have been enjoyed here to date, and went on to prophesy—'there will someday be many church buildings—and even TEMPLES built in the land.'"1

President Spencer W. Kimball announced the building of the temple at a Tokyo area conference held August 9, 1975. The audience reacted with spontaneous applause followed by tears of appreciation while they held their hands high to sustain the proposal.2

Mission President Harrison T. Price, who was present as a missionary for Elder Cowley's dedication of the mission home and prophecy of the temple in 1949, was called to supervise demolition of mission headquarters to make way for the temple.3

One of the contractors was suprised to learn the building project was a temple. He recognized that the Buddhist and Shinto religions built shrines and temples and that Christian churches built meetinghouses and cathedrals, but he had never heard of a Christian church building a temple. He was told the temple would be "a sacred building, a holy house, where the glorious work of salvation for the living and the dead would be carried out, where baptisms for the dead and other ordinances would be performed to bring about the joining of wife to husband, children to parents, for the living as well as the dead, and where families would be sealed together for time and for all eternity."4

On December 10, 2004, an angel Moroni statue was added to the spire of the temple, as witnessed by hundreds of applauding onlookers. Although rain was forecasted for the 10th, the day was beautiful and clear. The scaffolding was taken down the following week, revealing a more beautiful and magnificent temple than before.5

  1. Carol Moses, "To Build a House of the Lord," Tambuli Oct. 1980: 7.
  2. Adney Y. Komatsu, "Faith and Works in the Far East," Ensign Nov. 1975: 88.
  3. Richard O. Cowan, Temples to Dot the Earth (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, Incorporated, 1997) 183.
  4. Adney Y. Komatsu, "The House of the Lord," Ensign, Nov. 1983: 27.
  5. David van der Leek, "Tokyo Temple - Angel Moroni," Online posting, 18 Dec. 2004, 19 Dec. 2004 .