Nezu Shrine: power spot in Tokyo famous for a beautiful architecture and azalea

Located in Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Nezu shrine is said to be founded 1900 years ago. It is conveniently located 5 minutes by foot from the multiple stations, and is very popular among visitors.

Nearly all of Nezu Shrine's structures are extant from when they were built in the Edo period, and seven buildings are designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan.

Nezu shrine is most famous for its azalea garden that bursts into color in spring. Japanese azalea is a flower similar to Rhododendron that grows in the United States and Europe.

About Nezu shrine

Deities

The principal deities of the shrine are Susanoo-no-mikoto, a god warding off evil, Oyamakui-no-mikoto, god of agriculture, and Hondawake-no-mikoto, god of victory. In addition, Okuninushi-no-mikoto, god of fortune and love, and Sugawara-no-Michizaneko, god of education, are jointly enshrined aidono deities. Since several gods are worshipped, Nezu shrine is said to grant multiple wishes for getting rid of bad luck, happy marriage, success in business and exams.

History and features

According to the legend, Nezu shrine wasfounded in Sendagi area by Yamato Takeru around 1900 years ago. Yamato Takeru was a Japanese legendary prince called Yamatotakeru-no-Mikoto who made an appearance in Nihon Shoki and Kojiki, ancient chronicles of Japan.

Seven buildings, including the main shrine remain intact since relocation to Nezu by Tokugawa Tsunayoshi 300 years ago, and are designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan. Nezu shrine is one of the Tokyo Ten Shrines, a list of 10 famous shrines with a long history.

Guide to the precincts

Read about highlights of the shrine precinct and architecture below.

Aside from the shrine's main building, the grounds of Nezu Shrine also houses Otome Inari and Komagome Inari shrines. Here is a guide to the precinct, when approaching from Omotesando.

Omotesando / Romon

Entrance to Nezu Shrine.

The first building you will see after walking up the Omotesando and crossing the Shinkyo Bridge is the Romon.

As you pass through the gate, cleanse yourself with a water fountain chozuya on your left.
Read this article to learn how to use chozuya.

The second gate after the Romon is the Karamon, with its brilliant vermillion varnish.

After passing through the Karamon, pay your respects at the main shrine shaden where the deity is enshrined. Please be aware that entry to the main shrine is prohibited.

The transparent wall called sukibei surrounds the whole complex of shrine buildings, with Nishimon gate on the left to Karamon.

The seven main buildings (main shrine, hall of offerings, worship hall), Karamon, Nishimon, wall sukibei, and Romon were completed in 1706. These structures, which survived the air raids of World War II, are mostly intact and are designated Important National Cultural Property.

Otome Inari Shrine boasts its senbon torii or the thousand torii gates

If you walk up the Omotesando and stand in front of Romon, you will see torii gates lined up to the left.

Senbon torii and Otome Inari Shrine are amazing off-the-radar spots for travelers seeking a bit of peace and quiet.

Komagome Inari Shrine

Komagome Inari Shrine is located next to the Otome Inari Shrine. It was originally made in Tsunashige’s field, the brother of the fifth shogun Tsunayoshi Tokugawa, to worship a guardian deity.

This power spot is believed to be guarded by wind gods Shinatsuhiko-no-Mikoto and Shinatobe-no-Mikoto who are warding off evil spirits.

The oldest stone torii gate on the temple grounds was built in 1840, but it was lost in an earthquake 10 years ago.

Nezu Shrine, a famous place for azaleas

Japanese azalea flower is one of Nezu Shrine’s most remarkable appeals.

You can find blooming azaleas on the left to Romon and the west side to the senbon torii.

The Azalea garden in Nezu Shrine covers an area of about 2,000 tsubo ( 6,600 square meters) and offers a splendid view from mid to late April. With over 100 different species, this place hosts a spectacular spring scene.

Goshuin seal

You can buy a goshuin stamp at Nezu Shrine sold at the designated booth next to the main shrine.

Finally

With its colorful shrine buildings, torii gates and blooming azaleas, a visit to Nezu Shrine will definitely leave you stunned. Despite the convenient location in the urban area, its grounds convey a calming atmosphere. A perfect place to feel Japanese culture in all its age and beauty!

Access

Address 1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0031
Transportation By train:
5 min walk from Todai-mae Station (Tokyo Metro Namboku Line), Nezu Station or Sendagi Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line).
Official website http://www.nedujinja.or.jp