In the heart of Tokyo, in Kudanshita, there is a very special place that watches over the peace of Japan and world peace every day.
This place is the Yasukuni Imperial Shrine. Yasukuni literally means “Country in peace.” This Shinto Shrine was built in 1869 due to an order from the Meiji Emperor.
This beautiful enclosure maintains the record of 2,466,000 souls who gave their lives for the peace of Japan from the Meiji era until the end of the war in 1945. We thank all those souls who worked hard to create the foundation of peace. which Japan now enjoys.
It is considered one of the most important shrines in all of Japan for its long history and its goal that Japan never enter a war conflict again. If you traveled to Japan but did not pay your respect to the Yasukuni Shrine, then it really is a real shame.
Upon entering Yasukuni we can see the highest Torii (Sacred Gate of the Shintoist Shrines) in Japan. It is the sanctuary that holds more deities and therefore the door lives up to that fact.
As we go a little further there is the statue of Osamura who was the founder of the Imperial Japanese Navy. This was the first western type statue made in Japan. A little further on is the monument of the mother offering water.
This monument represents those moments in which the soldiers were in battle and fainted from lack of water, and at that moment when mirages began to be seen due to thirst, they remembered their mother and asked for water to be able to live.
Today, the monument prays that neither water nor mother’s love is lacking for any person in the world. Before entering the enclosure as such of the Sanctuary, we must purify our hands and mouth at the fountain next to the Yasukuni gate. Being clean, we proceed to enter. In the Yasukuni Shrine you will find:
– The Yasukuni Shrine office.
– The Noh theater, where martial arts demonstrations, traditional dances, concerts, and special events are held. All in honor of the souls that reside in Yasukuni.
-The sacred pool, where the spiritual energy of the sanctuary is concentrated and you can feel peace in its purest essence.
– The Sumo field, where Sumo matches are held from time to time, and are free to the public. – The small forest of peace that surrounds the entire Sanctuary. When passing through this beautiful place, it is difficult to think that you are in the center of the city of Tokyo.
– The Yushukan museum, perhaps the most important museum in the world and the oldest in Japan. It is a must see if you go to Yasukuni. This museum tells the true history of Japan from 1868 to 1945. There will be a special publication just to talk about this museum.
– The Haiden, whose meaning is where people normally go to offer respect, and pray or thank the deities of the Sanctuary.
– The Hoden, where the sacred object called «Goshintai» that connects the earth with the spiritual world is found.
The shrine plays a very important role in the mind of the Japanese, and when entering the Yasukuni Shrine and the Yushukan museum, the point of view on life can change radically.
Yasukuni is a place of peace, probably the most peaceful and pacifist in the world. Despite being surrounded by controversies generated by foreign countries, Yasukuni is a place that welcomes those who want to know the real Japan and give thanks for the peace in which the nation lives. There is much to say and talk about this important sanctuary, but the most important thing to remember is that peace in a nation is paramount.
One of the most beautiful cherry blossoms in all of Japan is found in Yasukuni. In fact, the cherry tree that is used to determine when the cherry season begins is located on the shrine grounds. One of the most joyous and enlightened festivals in Japan is also celebrated in Yasukuni, the wonderful “Mitama Matsuri” which takes place in early summer. Where all the souls return to Yasukuni to celebrate that Japan is now at peace.
If you are in Tokyo, you cannot miss one of the most important Shrines in the world and connect with the origin of peace in Japan.
Address: 3-1-1 Kudankita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8246
Transportation: Kudanshita Station
Every day from 6am to 6pm.
January, February, November and December from 6am to 5pm.