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Yasukuni Shrine

Yasukuni Shrine Yasukuni Shrine ("Yasukuni Jinja" in Japanese) is a Shinto shrine, and is located northwest of Kokyo (Imperial Palace) and about 0.5 km west of Nippon Budokan arena.

It was founded in 1869 to enshrine the spirits of samurais killed in the civil war to overthrow the feudal Edo government and found the new Meiji government.
And after that, the spitits of all Japanese person killed in some wars involving Japan had been enshrined.
So now about 2,466 thousand spirits are enshrined, and about 2,342 thousand of them are killed in the World War II.

This shrine had been placed under the government before the World War II.
But after the war, it became a mere religious corporation under a current Constitution that demands separation of religion and politics.
Every day, many Japanese people visit here to renew a pledge not to fight a war again.

However, troublingly, the class-A war criminals of the World War II are included in the spirits.
So whenever the Japan's prime minister visit here, a few neighbor countries which Japan had once occupied protest against Japan.

Of course, I hear a variety of arguments for and against the visit by Japan's prime minister.
Some have a suggestion to enshrine the class-A war criminals separately. But Japan government cannot force the shrine to do so.
Others have a suggestion to build a new national memorial facilities. But it's not that the suggestion gains much approval.
I think that it may not be resolved soon.

There is a museum "Yushukan" in the precincts of a shrine.
In the museum, many articles related to some wars are displaying. We can see also a famous warplane named Zero, tank, torpedoes and other weapons used in the war.

The Mitama Festival is popular, and is held from July 13th to 16th every year.

Yasukuni Shrine official website

How to get to here


  • About 8 minutes walk from Ichigaya station (local train on Chuo Line).
  • About 8 minutes walk from Iidabashi station (local train on Chuo Line).

By subway

  • About 8 minutes walk from Kudanshita station (Tozai, Hanzomon, Shinjuku Lines).

Entrance of Yasukuni Shrine
Approach of Yasukuni Shrine
Main Gate in Yasukuni Shrine
A door of Main Gate
Main hall in Yasukuni Shrine Main hall in Yasukuni Shrine
Yushukan museum "Zero" in Yushukan museum
Mitama Festival in Yasukuni Shrine Mitama Festival

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