Toshogu Shrine

Entrance arc at the Toshogu Shrine
Photo by: Nerotaso, Creative Commons

Toshogu Shrine is considered one of the most popular tourist sites in Tokyo. Located in the south west part of Ueno Park, the shrine is but one of the many attractions available at the location. However it is definitely one you will not want to pass by.

This is the only shrine in Tokyo that has the distinction of being proclaimed as a national treasure. The wooden Ueno Toshogu Shrine has somehow survived earthquakes, a civil war and Bombing raids.

Built in 1627, this shrine was dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu. At first the shrine was called Toshosha but was renamed Toshogu in 1645. Toshogu is a royal title that means “Light of the east”.


As you approach the gate to the Toshogu shrine you will be awe struck by the 200 stone lanterns and fifty bronze lanterns that line both sides of the walk way. The gate it self is also marvelous site to behold and is heavily adorned with gold foil. It is decorated with splendid dragons, birds and other animals.

The shrine contains fabulous art including the famous mural by Edo artist Kano tan-Yu. One of the most impressive sites is the flame on the shrine ground that is an appeal for world peace. It was lit from the flames of fire at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The main hall is breathtaking. It is often referred to as the gold hall because its pillars and walls are covered in extravagant gold foil.

Inside the shrine you will find clothing and Samurai armor that was worn by Ieyasu. You will also notice the ornate carvings on the walls that depict flower, birds and dragons. This is an awe inspiring place to visit.

The opulent beauty will capture your imagination as you see the historical artwork and architecture of this shrine. This should certainly be at the top of your list of thinks to do in Tokyo.

Tokyo Famous Landmarks

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