The One about Asakusa Jinja

I wrote about Asakusa Senso-ji and Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist Temple, Asakusa Jinja back in 2015 and explored the history, but because I came with friends in the last trip, I didn’t fully explore the location until the following year. Granted, when we last went, it was early in the morning, crowded but still easy to navigate.  I went to the location in the afternoon and having experienced other shrines and […]

The One about Daikokuten Kyooji Temple in Yanaka

In Yanaka, near Nippori Station, is a temple called Daikokuten Kyooji Temple. While not a huge temple, the temple does date back from the Edo Period and inside, there is a statue of Daitokuten, one of the Seven Lucky Gods (shichifukujin).  The statue is said to have been carved by Nichiren (1222-1282) himself (a tale that is really not possible). Daitokuten is considered to be the God of Earth, Agriculture, […]

The One about Chomyoji Temple in Yanaka and the Copper Bell

While walking through Yanaka, I passed by an area that I wasn’t sure if there was anything significant inside. Yanaka is so full of tradition like for every few feet you walk, there is a temple and a shrine that you will most likely visit.  But there are also residences that you will be visiting and you may or may not be sure if it’s open to the public. Also, […]

The One about Niku no Suzuki in Yanaka Ginza

When it comes to menchi-katsu (minced meat with vegetables in a fried potato covering), people are quite selective of what’s best. From Kichijoji’s Harmonica Alley to Asakusa, there are people who have their favorites, but there is one menchi-katsu restaurant that gets a lot of television coverage, has many celebrity visitors and can have long lines of people waiting to purchase some. Knowing this, I had to give Niku no […]

The One about Emmei-in Temple in Yanaka

In 1648 Misawa no Tsubone, the west nurse of Tokugawa Ietsuna, 4th Shogun of the Tokugawa Dynasty, founded Emmei-in Temple in Yanaka.  The Nichiren Buddhist Temple was established as a bettoji, a temple attached to a Shinto shrine (typically in Japan, temples and shrines are separate). Back then, a priest named Eshoin Nitcho prayed for a safe delivery when Tokugawa Ietsuna was born.  Misawa no Tsubone made a donation to […]

The One about the Tomb of Kano Hogai in Yanaka

In yesterday’s post, I discussed the Okakura Tenshin Memorial Site in Yanaka and how he started the Japan Art Institute (Nihon Bijutsuin). But not far from the Memorial Site is the Tomb of Kano Hogai, a famouse Japanese painter of the early Meiji era. A painter of the Kano school, he is one of the last Kano painters and his paintings show experimentation of Western methods and styles. But with […]

The One about the Okakura Tenshin Memorial Park Site of Okakura Tenshin’s Residence in Yanaka

Okakura Kakuzo (a.k.a. Okakura Tenshin) was a Japanese scholar who is known for the development of arts in Japan. Best known for his book “The Book of Tea”, Okakura was a scholar who learned English while attending a school which was operated by a Christian missionary named Dr. Curtis Hepburn.  At the age of 15, he was a student at Tokyo Imperial University in 1875 and studied under Harvard-educated professor […]

The One about Tosho-gu Shrine at Ueno Park

Located at Ueno Park is the shinto shrine, Tosho-gu. The shrine is where Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, the third and last of the shogunai governments in Japanese history, is enshrined. It’s important to note that there is not one but around 130 Tosho-gu shrines in Japan, the most well-known version located in Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture. The shrine underwent major renovation in 1651 by order of […]