There are thousands of Buddhist temples dotting the landscape in Japan, and as a result some of them end up in unique locations. One such temple is Henjoin in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture.

You’re welcome to visit any time but just be careful not to get hit by the Airport Express out of Sengakuji Station that passes right through its entrance. This and many other trains zoom across the temple precincts on a regular basis as they travel along the Keikyo Main Line.

In case you can’t make it out to Yokohama, above is a video capturing the tranquil beauty of what is commonly referred to as “Fumikiri Tera” (Rail Crossing Temple). It highlights the temple’s elegant features such as the traditional roof tiles, the row of jizo statues, and the 3:18 from Keikyu Tsurumi Station.

Those praying to the spirits of their ancestors can be lulled into meditation by the gentle sounds of 60 tons of train clanking along rails at speeds of 70km/h.

Not only does a set of tracks run through the temple’s entrance, but the Tokaido Main Line also runs right along the back of it as well.

As you might suspect, the temple was here first originally built nearly 500 years ago. However, it had been rebuilt a few times, the most recent being 1956 after it was destroyed in an air-raid during WWII.

Information about why a train line runs through it is scarce. Minami Nagata with looked into it and came to the conclusion that during a time of Henjoin reconstruction, part of its land went up for sale. Some of it was purchased by Keikyo for their then-new electric line. However, because an undamaged part of the entrance lay near the area, Keikyo lent a 40m (130ft) wide strip of land leading out to the street to the temple for free.

We can only assume that Keikyo sprung for the boom gates as well. Without them Henjoin might also be famous as “the deadliest temple” in Japan.

Source: YouTube – sobanotanuki, Kotaro Blog, Hamarepo (Japanese)