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Published on 02.08.2016
In Japan, there are more than 100,000 shrines, including small ones not registered. Nezu Shrine is in Bunkyo ward, Tokyo, near Ueno Park and is one of the oldest shrines in Japan. If you would like to see shrines, or traditional style Japanese buildings, look no farther than Nezu Shrine. Nezu Shrine is packed with various appeals of traditional Japanese shrines.
Nezu Shrine was rebuilt in its current location in 1706. It consists of Honden (main sanctuary), Haiden (worship hall), Heiden (offering hall), Karamon (Chinese-style gate), Romon (two-story gate), Nishimon (West gate) and Sukibei (lattice-windowed wall). All of these are Gongen-style architecture, the same style as Toshogu, Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture. Gongen-style is a style of shrine architecture which features complex buildings of shrines shaped in the form of the letter H. These buildings were designated as a national important cultural property. If you don’t like crowds, it is recommended that you visit early in the morning. You can breathe in fresh air, enjoy quiet time, and get some great photos too!
Besides the architecture, other highlights of Nezu shrine include its thousand torii gates, similar to Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. Nezu Shrine’s beautiful torii gates rival those of Fushimi Inari. People believe that walking through the gates wards off evil spirits, and walking through them can make one feel as if they were transported to a different world.
Those visiting Tokyo in the spring (April through May), should be able to see Nezu shrine’s beautiful Azalea Garden. The Azalea Festival is also held during this blooming period. Enjoy the beautiful bunches of pink, red, and white azaleas, and buying snack and souvenirs at street stalls during the festival.
At Nezu Shrine, it is possible to witness magnificent historic buildings, thousands impressive of torii gates, beautiful flowers, etc. here in Tokyo, without having to leave the city.
Opening hours (Main Gate, “Karamon”):
March ~September 18:00
November ~ January 17:00
February and October 17:30
How to Get There:
Five minutes by foot from Tokyo Subway Chiyoda Line Nezu Station or Sendagi Station. or
Five minutes by foot from Tokyo Metro Namboku Line Todaimae Station.