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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

History

Kaneiji Temple 寛永寺

The troops of the last shogun made their last stand here

Kan'ei-ji is a Buddhist temple that is far more pivotal to the history of Japan than is apparent from the few remaining buildings in a residential neighborhood on the outer edge of Ueno Park in Tokyo.

Quick Facts

Six of 13 of the Tokugawa clan who became shogun are buried in the temple's graveyard

There is a five-story pagoda by Shinobazu Pond

A statue of Meiji Restoration leader Saigo Takamori graces the grounds

How to Get There

The temple is located in central Tokyo, and can be reached by train or taxi.

Kan'ei-ji Temple is located within Ueno Park, though in a far corner, beyond Ueno Zoo, Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts. You can get there by walking through Ueno Park, but it is much closer to Uguisudani Station. Uguisudani Station is one station from Ueno Station on the JR Yamanote Line.

The way things were

All of Ueno Park used to be part of Kan'ei-ji Temple. It was centered around Shinobazu Pond then, near where the Kiyomizu Kannondo and the five-story pagoda still stand.

Built in 1625, the temple had Tokugawa clan support from the beginning. In fact, its land was donated by Tokugawa Hidetaka, the third son of Ieyasu and the second shogun. The temple continued to be an important funeral temple, which is why six of the Tokugawa clan's leaders are buried here.

The most critical historical event at Kan'ei-ji took place in 1868, however. It was here that the forces of the last Tokugawa shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, were defeated by the revolutionary forces loyal to the Emperor.

One of Japan's most influential samurai

The bronze statue of Saigo Takamori in Ueno Park is one of the most famous objects in Japan. One of the leaders of the rebellion supporting the Emperor, he was the leader of the Satsuma clan from Kagoshima, a key part of the Imperial forces.

During the Battle of Ueno, the Satsuma troops attacked the main gate of the temple head-on. They suffered tremendous casualties, but this bold move helped end the conflict quickly. Saigo's statue is near the main entrance to the park, almost on the opposite end from Kan'ei-ji.

Try this route

When you visit Kan'ei-ji, walk from the temple grounds through Ueno Park via Shinobazu Pond. You'll be able to pass by Kiyomizu Kannondo, see the five-story pagoda inside of Ueno Zoo, and see the statue of Saigo Takamori.

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