This is a gorgeous, lively, maddeningly nationalistic, must-see Imperial shrine.
If you follow Japanese news at all, every year you’ll hear about the Yasukuni Shrine. It’s the place where the souls of all soldiers who fought for Japan since the samurai era are enshrined. It always makes the news if the prime minister decides to appear and make an offering on Japan’s version of Memorial Day, because certain souls enshrined there are considered WWII war criminals by other countries. But that’s not all there is to this grand shrine!
It turns out that sumo started out as the Shinto practice of “wrestling with the gods,” so the Yasukuni Shrine still hosts a FREE amateur & professional tournament once a year in the outdoor sumo amphitheatre.
Nearby destinations: Ikebukuro, Japan Traditional Craft Center, Koraku-en Garden, Shinjuku
Read a novel set in Tokyo