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Published on 03.31.2016
Ueno's Toshogu Shrine is very different from many of the shrines I'd seen in the past. Considering it was built in the 17th century I was really surprised how many Chinese influences I saw in the shrine as well as the amount of gold that covered the shrine. The architecture of the surrounding walls was fantastic and vibrant. Every section of the wall had different colorful animals carved into them. There were also a couple really old trees surrounding the temple and the grounds were extremely well taken care of.
Tokugawa Ieyasu was the last of three great daimyos in the Sengoku (Warring States) Period and the one that finally accomplished unifying Japan. Toshogu Shrines are actually dedicated to the Tokugawa Family and the one in Nikko actually holds the remains of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Toshogu shrine was actually a part of Kaneji Temple complex until the early 19th Century.
Entrance to the inner shrine area is about 500 yen, but it is definitely well worth it to see the intricate detail of this 400 year old Shrine.
Ueno Park is extremely easy to get to. Just take the Yamanote Line from Tokyo or Shinjuku and the Park is right outside the station. To get to the shrine just head straight into the park from the station and head towards the zoo. It's pretty easy to find with all the signs and maps located all over the park.