KSL’s Shara Park Visits Tokyo Japan Temple, Speaks With Local Church Members

Aug 7, 2021, 8:49 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2023, 11:39 am

TOKYO — As the Tokyo Olympics wrap up, our KSL TV team has been able to visit several important religious and cultural sites in Japan, including one that is important to member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Tokyo Japan Temple holds a lot of meaning to the people of Japan, and it’s been closed for quite some time.

KSL TV’s Shara Park spoke to members who said they’re anxious for it to be open once again.

Sitting above the treetops of Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park, you’ll find the gleaming spire of the Tokyo Japan Temple — a temple sacred to Japanese members of the Latter-day Saint faith.

“It has a long history,” said Ruri Toma. It has great meaning, significance for us.”

The temple was the first built in Asia for the Latter-day Saint Church. It was dedicated in 1980 by the Church’s then President, Spencer W. Kimball.

Kazuko Nibley was there and sang a solo for him.

“Were you nervous?” Shara asked Nibley.

“Yes,” Nibley replied, laughing.

For Nibley, the temple has been a place of enlightenment for its Japanese members.

“Japan is a blessed country, but this gives them the chance to feel and understand what deep and true happiness is,” she said.

But in 2017, the temple closed and underwent an extensive renovation.

“We have the new Annex building and it’s really beautiful,” said Ken Toma, coordinator for the Tokyo Japan Temple rededication and open house. “We didn’t have a big meeting house before.”

One of the biggest changes was made to the exterior of the temple.

Before, members felt it was closed off to the community, but now, beautiful gardens and fountains welcome visitors in.

“Obviously, they want a lot of people to feel free to come to the temple and feel closer to the temple,” said Ken.

On the grounds of the temple, you’ll find two historic pieces of stonework — pre-World War II lanterns that are still used today. 

“This property used to be owned by the Japanese Imperial Family,” said Ken.

Walking the exterior of the temple is all these members can do right now. The temple’s finished, but it’s still closed due to COVID-19.

“We’ve been waiting, waiting to open up, but still, it hasn’t opened yet,” said Ken Toma, coordinator for the Tokyo Temple rededication and open house.

The Japanese members remain faithful, continuing to study and learn.

“It still feels like we’ve got a lid on top, but now, the lid is opening,” said Nibley.

They pray their temple will be rededicated and opened soon.

“For 40 years, we’ve kept and protected and preserved our temple, and now, we’ll be able to go back to our temple,” said Ruri.

KSL 5 TV Live


Recommend desk in the Taylorsville Utah Temple....

Karah Brackin

A first look inside the Taylorsville Utah Temple

Media got a first look inside the Taylorsville Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ahead of the public open house.

3 days ago

President Russell M. Nelson making the announcement of the new temples at the 194th Annual General ...

Dan Rascon

President Russell M. Nelson announces new temples to be built in Lehi and West Jordan

Residents of West Jordan and Lehi expressed shock and excitement after President Russell M. Nelson announced the new temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their area.

4 days ago

The Red Cliffs Utah Temple was dedicated Sunday, March 24, 2024. (2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc...

Eliza Pace and Daniel Woodruff

15 new temples are announced during April 2024 General Conference

The locations of 15 new temples were announced during the 194th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

5 days ago

Temples now dot the land (Graphics by Diana Hays)...

Carole Mikita

WATCH: ‘Temples Now Dot the Land’

Utah will soon have 28 operating temples. Some are still under construction, restoration or in the Open House period. A few have recently been dedicated. In this program we will focus on the 14 newest temples in Utah by telling the stories of the people connected to them. We will also provide an historic look […]

5 days ago

Heritage of Holiness (Graphics by Lyss Larsen)...

Mike Headrick

WATCH: ‘HERITAGE OF HOLINESS: The Kirtland Story of Faith’

“Heritage of Holiness: The Kirtland Story of Faith” delves into the rich tapestry of history surrounding the transfer of ownership of the Kirtland Temple from the Community of Christ to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as other significant historical artifacts and buildings, such as the Red Brick Store in Nauvoo. […]

5 days ago

The newest apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Patrick Kearon, giving...

Daniel Woodruff

Elder Kearon delivers first general conference address since new calling as apostle

The newest apostle of the Church, Elder Patrick Kearon, delivered his first general conference address during the Sunday morning session of the 194th Annual General Conference.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

KSL’s Shara Park Visits Tokyo Japan Temple, Speaks With Local Church Members