The One about Yanaka Cemetery

Located in Yanaka and a minute away from Nippori Station is the large cemetery known as Yanaka Reien (Yanaka Cemetery).

Originally known as Yanaka Bochi (Yanaka Graveyard), the location is home for 7,000 graves and is a cemetery that has ts own police station and a walled enclosure dedicated to the Tokugawa clan, family of the 15 Tokugawa shoguns of Japan.  Home for the last shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu.

This enclosure is closed to the public but one can view it through the gates.

The cemetery was once a part of Tennoji and the cemetery central street leads to the ruins of the five-storied pagoda.

Interesting note in history is that right after the Meiji Restoration, the government pursued a police that would separate Buddhism and Shinto, in order to make Shinto funerals more common.  Most cemeteries in Japan at the time were property of Buddhist Temples, so in order to rectify that, Meiji authorities confiscated a portion of the Tennoji in 1872 and declared the land as a public Tokyo cemetery.  And back then, it was the largest cemetery in Tokyo.

While I went to the cemetery on a freezing winter day, it was interesting stroll.

Before one visits Tennoji or right afterward, more than likely you will pass by Yanaka Cemetery.