Established almost 1,900 years ago and then relocated to its current place in 1705, Nezu Shrine (根津神社) is one of the oldest shrines in Tokyo and in all of Japan.
The architecture and design of Shinto shrines had evolved after the introduction of Buddhism in Japan, resulting in structures more opulent than their all-wood predecessors. It was said that Nezu Shrine’s intricately designed façade has been patterned after Nikko’s Toshogu Shrine.
Its long pathway, lined with Fushimi Inari-reminiscent vermillion toriis, leads to a charming Zen retreat. Watching the afternoon quietly unfold amidst gold lacquered shrine buildings, it’s not difficult to fathom how the shrine still welcomes a fair share of local visitors.
Passport Out Tip : Come in early summer (late April to early May) for the annual Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri, when the resplendent Azaleas are in full bloom.