Nezu Shrine

Sanctuary

Yanaka is one of the best, undiscovered, Old Tokyo neighborhoods in town, filled with traditional shops and excellent shrines and temples.

The Nezu Shrine is my favorite shrine in Tokyo. I love walking through the long tunnel of orange torii gates, and in April the hills surrounding it are covered in blooming azaleas.

In the fall, the Japanese maples turn brilliant red and the gingko trees become towers of gold.
The shrine has three entrances, all marked by giant red lacquered torii gates
MainGate
Beyond the torii gate, the main gate is guarded by two fierce warriors on either side.
Courtyard
Recently restored, the main courtyard is a great example of red and gold lacquerwork.
A subshrine dedicated to the inari fox gods sits above the main shrine, connected to the tunnel of orange torii gates
ToriiTunnel
Walking through the long tunnel of orange torii gates is one of the great pleasures of visiting this shrine

In addition to having nice buildings, the hillside surrounding the Nezu Shrine is completely covered with azalea bushes, which burst into flaming balls of pink, white and purple at the end of April every year.

Yikes, how do they get them to bloom like this?
And there are LOTS of them
The koi pond looks especially nice when surrounded by riots of color
The Nezu Shrine is also gorgeous in November, when the autumn leaves reach their peak. The tall gingko trees turn brilliant yellow…
…while the Japanese maples rival the red of the shrine
On festival days like New Years, traditional entertainers like these taiko drummers perform at the Nezu Shrine.
On festival days, traditional entertainers like these taiko drummers often perform at the Nezu Shrine.

Shrine hours: 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Admission: free

MAP

Read a novel set in Tokyo

More Nightshade book goodness here, in case you think you might want to, you know, read it or something
A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car at the local shrine, and the more Yumi Hata learns about her best friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more