Attraction Nezu Shrine 1 Chome-28-9 Nezu Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0031 Japan Published on: 13-11-2015
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Why Nezu Shrine is special ?
The Nezu-jinja Shrine is said to have been established over 1,900 years ago by the legendary priest Yamato Takeru no Mikoto in Sendagi with Susanoo no Mikoto as the chief deity. In the Edo Period (1600-1867), the 5th shogun Tsunayoshi relocated it from Sendagi to Nezu to commemorate the adoption of Ienobu as his successor and the 6th shogun Ienobu chose it as the guardian deity. The Gongen-style architectures (typical of modern shrines) of Honden (main sanctuary), Haiden (worship hall), Heiden (offering hall), Karamon (Chinese-style gate), Romon (two-story gate) and Sukibei (lattice-windowed wall) are designated as nationally Important Cultural Properties.'
What to explore at Nezu Shrine?
A particularly memorable feature of Nezu Shrine is its scores of small, vermilion torii Shinto shrine gates that cover the paths on the hillside above the main shrine, making for a tunnel effect.
The torii-lined pathways lead to and from a viewing platform that is part of the smaller Otome Inari Shrine, a shrine-within-a-shrine that overlooks the main shrine buildings, and over a sizable pond directly below.
If you take the path through the tunnel of torii that begins on your left after crossing the bridge, you will come across a pile of about half a dozen rocks placed somewhat randomly and fenced off. This is the Enazuka or "Placenta Mound" containing the afterbirth of Tokugawa Ienobu (1662 – 1712), the sixth Shogun of Japan.
A somewhat more salubrious rock is the Bungo no Ishi ("Stone of the Literary Greats") where such masters of Japanese literature as Natsume Soseki and Ogai Mori are said to have sat and received inspiration—located to your left and a little further on after entering the first gate after the bridge.
Nezu Shrine Bunkyo Azalea Festival
Nezu Shrine is the home of the Bunkyo Azalea Festival, which happens every April and is named after Tokyo's Bunkyo ward where Nezu Shrine is located. Over an acre and a half (three-quarters of a hectare) of vivid azaleas (つつじ; tsutsuji) bloom in shades of mainly pink and white, and in different shapes and sizes, in what is one of Tokyo's most spectacular spring scenes, thronged with visitors from all over Tokyo and beyond. There are over 3,000 plants in all to admire.
The many varieties of azalea (over 100), with their various characteristics, mean that the blooming period is long. The Bunkyo Azalea Festival also features stalls selling food, handicrafts, toys and clothing, as well as traditional song and dance entertainment.
The azalea gardens are open to the public only at the time of the Bunkyo Azalea Festival, and require a small entry fee.
How to get to Nezu Shrine?
By train: 5 minutes by foot from Tokyo Subway Chiyoda Line Nezu Station or Sendagi Station. 5 minutes by foot from Tokyo Metro Namboku Line Todaimae Station.
By bus: Take a Tobus Ue58 and get off at the bus stop Nezujinjya iriguchi (Nezu shrine entrance).
- Lovely flowers at their Azalea Festival!
- Good cultural experience
- Nice shrine with beautiful flowers
- Excellent Shrine with great Azaleas
- Simply beautiful
Nezu Shrine 1 Chome-28-9 Nezu Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0031 Japan
Tips for you
a really good temple with a Japanese athmosphere
Visit the famous Azalea festival in April to May
This is a nice quiet place close to the Yanaka area and Nezu station on the Chiyoda line. I visited Nezu Shrine in the middle of April when the azaleas in the shrine's garden were starting to have flowers. The Azalea flower festival here is taking place April 5 to May 6 in 2014. If you are interested in the flower garden, go on a weekday when it is less crowded.