The spirits of people ranging from the upheaval after the end of the Edo Era to World War II are enshrined
Yasukuni Shrine had its origins as Tokyo Shokonsha Shrine when it consecrated all those who had fallen in battle during the period of revolution (the Meiji Restoration) as the age of the samurai changed from 1869 to a time of modern nation-building. Afterwards, it was re-named Yasukuni Shrine, and it was there that the dead from the end of the Edo Era in 1853 to the Second World War were also enshrined.
At the shrine, please appreciate the beauty of the structures there. Ahead on the straight path into the area, there are grand and soaring torii gates before reaching the impressive haiden front shrine. This is the calm place for the repose of the spirits. There, not only are the war dead enshrined but also statues representing spirits of horses and dogs. Also at the Yushukan military museum, exhibits and data related to the war are on permanent display and you can learn about the history of the war.
There is a Japanese garden within the grounds where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll. There is also a Noh stage and a sumo wrestling hall where Noh, Japanese dance and sumo are performed in dedication to the resting spirits.
A splendid cherry blossom festival with 600 cherry trees
Especially during the season of blossoming cherries, the 600 cherry trees within the grounds are a sight to see. The sakura festival is held and with nearby Chidorigafuchi, people are charmed by the mass blossoming of cherries. Customary Noh is performed as a dedication, and the performances of Noh dances against the illuminated backdrop of blossoms at night are magical and extremely beautiful. Also the summer festival, Mitama Matsuri, is famous as a reminder of the season. It’s a festival that began as an O-bon (a summer event in dedication to ancestors and the dead) event, and the nighttime stalls are lively with 30,000 paper lanterns and hand lanterns decorating the whole area of the shrine and lighting up the summer night.
Come and visit Yasukuni Shrine where you can experience traditional Japanese events all throughout the year such as the hatsumode during the New Year and the grand annual festivals in spring and fall.