1. Yasukuni Shrine
    Photo: Yasukuni Shrine
  2. 靖国神社
  • Attractions | Religious buildings and sites
  • Kudanshita

Yasukuni Shrine


Time Out says

Yasukuni is one of Tokyo’s grandest shrines, conceived by Emperor Meiji to commemorate those who died defending him against the shogun. It is also the nation’s most controversial landmark. It houses the souls of almost 2.5 million war dead, but 14 in particular have brought the shrine notoriety. World War II leaders such as Iwane Matsui, the general who ordered the destruction of Nanking, are enshrined here, with the reasoning that their Class A war criminal status is a Western construct and irrelevant to the Shinto religion. The neighbouring Yushukan war museum stokes the flames with an intriguing take on historic events, arguing, for example, that the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) inspired Mahatma Gandhi, and suggesting that the Pearl Harbor attack saved the US economy. Former PM Junichiro Koizumi became the first premier to make annual visits to the shrine, delighting his nationalist supporters but provoking anger from Japan’s neighbours and wartime victims.


3-1-1 Kudankita, Chiyoda-ku
Kudanshita Station (Hanzomon, Shinjuku, Tozai lines), exits 1, 3 or Ichigaya Station (Chuo, Nanboku, Shinjuku, Sobu, Yurakucho lines), exits A3, A4
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