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Nezu Map - Tokyo Tourist Guide
History and Origin of Nezu Shrine
The Nezu shrine is said to have been established by the legendary priest "Yamato Takeru no Mikoto" about 1900 years ago in Sendagi with Susanoo no Mikoto as the main deity. In 1705, the 5th Shogun Tsunayosi Tokugawa built the structures that can be seen today.
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 6th shogun Ienobu subsequently offered three "mikoshi" (portable shrines) to the shrine and created the "Tenka Matsuri" (reign festival). The festival is still held on 21st September.
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.
Because it is one of the oldest original construction remaining in Tokyo, the main hall, two gates and the wall of Nezu Jinja has been designated as an important cultural property.
The Main Hall was designed in red lacquer called "Gongenzukuri". The main two-story Gate is clearly influenced by Buddhist style.
The shrine's grounds are known for its plum-blossom in February and especially for its Japanese azaleas ("tsutsuji") and wisteria ("fuji") gardens, blooming from late April to early May.
The extensive grounds include a shrine stage (kagura-den), massive cedar and gingko trees, and a carp pond. The shrine is also noted for its wisteria and its azaleas, which peak in May.
The history of the famous Nezu Jinja Shrine in the heart of Tokyo is based on both legend and fact. Legend says the shrine was founded about two thousand years ago; when the Emperor's son, Yamato Takeru no Mikoto, is said to have built the shrine in Sendagi village, near its present site, as a token of respect to the god of war while on a military expedition. More recently, the shrine was later moved to its present site in Nezu and completed in 1706, a magnificent temple which proved worthy of its new status as tutelary shrine to the sixth shogun, Tenobu Ienobu. But Ienobu's father, who was apparently rather intemperate and subject to bouts of drinking, killed a retainer, Nezu Uemon, and from that day forward never knew a moment's rest; he may have committed suicide.
The shrine is one of only three shrines designated an Important Cultural Property in the whole city and is the largest and best preserved. Nezu Jinja Shrine, situated in a mass of greenery, is a riveting focal point by virtue of its brilliant red paint and the numerous arches one may use to approach it, which extend like arms on either side of the main gate and main hall of the meditation area.
Tobu Isesaki Line: Five minutes' walk from Asakusa Station
Tokyo Metro Ginza Line: Five minutes' walk from Asakusa Station
Tsukuba Express Line: Five minutes' walk from Asakusa Station
Toei Subway Asakusa Line: Seven minutes' walk from the A4 exit of Asakusa Station
Tokyo-to, Bunkyo, Nezu 1-28-9
Place to see nearby:
Tokyo National Museum
National Museum of Western Art
Academy of Art
Neighborhoods in Bunkyo:
Hongō (本郷) is located in Bunkyō, west of Ueno and north of the Tokyo Imperial Palace. Hongō was a ward of the former city of Tokyo until 1947, when it merged with another ward, Koishikawa, to form the modern Bunkyō.
Hongō is home to the University of Tokyo, Juntendo and Toyo Gakuen Universities. This was where Yaoya Oshichi, a greengrocer's daughter who was burned at the stake for arson in 1683, lived.
Koishikawa (小石川) consists of five sub-areas, 1-5 chome (1~5丁目).
Located nearby with the same name are two well regarded gardens: the Koishikawa Botanical Garden (related to Tokyo University) in Hakusan, and the Koishikawa Korakuen Garden in Korakuen.
Yayoi (弥生) is a neighborhood in Bunkyo, Tokyo. In 1884, when it was part of Tokyo City, it was the location of a shell mound where a type of pottery was discovered. The pottery became known as Yayoi, and eventually a period of Japanese history assumed the same name.
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