Nezu Shrine: Tranquility in Tokyo’s Quiet Neighborhood
Located in Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward, Nezu Shrine houses a beautiful shrine and surrounding grounds far from the hustle of the main city. It can be reached on foot from Nezu, Sendagi, or Todaimae stations. In the quiet neighborhoods surrounding the temple, it’s easy to forget where one is. Throughout the year, the shrine is nestled in greenery, nearly hidden from passer-bys. Upon entering the grounds, the atmosphere is refreshing and enchanting.
Originally dating back 1900 years to Sendagi, where it was created by Priest Yamato Takeru no Mikoto and Chief Deity Susanoo no Mikoto, Nezu Shrine feels as if it belongs in Kyoto, where tradition and modernity combine gracefully. Tucked away in Tokyo, it’s hard to believe such a place could exist amidst the concrete jungle. In 1931, Nezu Shrine was made a Designated National Treasure, which is now referred to as an Important Cultural Property.
Nezu Shrine is very popular in late April and early May, when its vivid azaleas are in full bloom. There are few visuals more peaceful than an old shrine surrounded by brilliantly colored flowers. While the grounds are crowded during this season, immediately after Golden Week, the atmosphere quiets again. Shops in the area provide a comfortable rest or dining opportunity for those visiting close to lunch time.
Like most temples and shrines in Japan, closing hours are early, so be sure to check them. Nezu Shrine closes at 5pm daily. Since a comfortably paced visit takes about 30-40 minutes, it is best to plan accordingly. Don’t forget to bring a camera!
[posted by Nadia]