From the outside you can see Zhenru Temple easily because of the tall pagoda. The temple itself is a bit hidden away behind other buildings and does not seem like it’ll be much. However, once inside the compound is very well kept and nice. There is a long passage way along the canal which is great for sitting and taking in a peaceful afternoon.
Getting to Zhenru Temple
Getting to the temple is kind of an experience itself if coming from the metro station. Between the metro station and the Temple is Tongchuan Road which is a big fish market.
- Take line 11 to Zhenru station
- Go out of exit #5 on Tongchuan Road
- Turn left onto Tongchuan Road and walk through the fish market to the temple
See & Do
Inside Zhenru Temple
Zhenru Temple is much like Longhua in it’s layout. A couple of striking differences which make Zhenru special are it’s prominent pagoda and a pathway along the canal.
The pagoda is newer and taller than Longhua’s and you may walk around and inside. I heard you can go up to the top levels but during our visit it was closed. Bummer 🙁
There is a long open-air corridor adjacent to a canal. The corridor is lined with iron bells, timber beams and other temple features. Along the canal side are benches which offer a great place to sit and enjoy a peaceful moment of reflections…or just sit there and take a rest.
Tongchuan Aquatic Products Market
Along both sides of the street are hundreds of stalls and shops selling all sorts of lake and sea creatures. Anyone can buy the fish but mostly they sell to restaurants all over Shanghai. Unfortunately there there does not seem to be any place in the market where you go to eat the fish. If you are looking for that “Tsukiji” Market experience then, well, no it’s not like that at all.
Of course it is quite interesting to walk through the fish market with it’s wet, fishy smells, blood and fish heads all around, the buzz of activity, dodging beeping scooters, et al. Fun! And after you have passed through the fishy gauntlet, you arrive at a quite temple to pause and reflect on what it means to be not a fish.