This is an old temple that is said to have been built in the Kamakura period (1192 to 1333). During the Edo period (1603 to 1868), it became known for the tomi-kuji lottery and was called Edo-santomi (three shrines selling lotteries).
Situated in a corner of the vast Yanaka cemetery surrounded by nature, this is one of the best-known old temples in Tokyo. It is believed that the temple was established in the Kamakura period and is known for its style that is a combination of traditional temple architecture and modern architecture. A god of wealth and bravery is enshrined there. The temple was originally a Nichiren-shu Buddhist temple, and its official name is Gokoku-zan Sonju-in Tennoji. It is said that the temple was established in the late Kamakura era, and the local lord, Nagateru Seki, created a small house in devotion for Buddhist monk Nichiren, who visited him. Nichiren's student, Nichigen, later enshrined a sculpture of Nichiren that was carved by Nichiren himself, and the house was then named Choyo-zan Kan'noji. Tomi-kuji lotteries were widely played during the Edo period, and the Ten'noji Temple along with the Ryusenji Temple in Meguro and the Yushima Tenjin were popular as the Edo's three temples that issued lotteries. The five-storied pagoda at the Ten'noji Temple became a model of a novel ”Goju-no-To,” or ”The Five-Storied Pagoda,” by a great author, Rohan Koda. This pagoda was built in 1644 but burnt down in 1771. Its remains are left at Yanaka Cemetery. It is a 2-minute walk from the South Exit of the Nippori Station on the JR Line.