Yanaka Cemetery (Tokyo) Show mapShow gallery

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  • Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo

    Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo

  • Tombs, Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo

    Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo

  • Tokugawa Yoshinobu Tomb, Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo

    Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu graveyard, Yanaka Cemetery

  • Tokugawa Yoshinobu Graveyard, Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo

    Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu graveyard, Yanaka Cemetery

  • Map of Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo

    Map of Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo

  • Pathway through Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo

    Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo

  • Tombs at Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo

    Yanaka Cemetery with Tokyo Skytree in Background

  • Tennoji Temple Bronze Buddha, Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo

    Tennoji Temple Bronze Buddha, Yanaka Cemetery

  • Tennoji Temple five-story pagoda, Yanaka Cemetery

    Ruins of Tennoji Temple's five-story pagoda

  • Ruins of five-story pagoda, Yanaka Cemetery

    Ruins of Tennoji Temple's five-story pagoda

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Facts & Figures

Yanaka Cemetery (Yanaka Reien) is with over 7000 graves one of the three largest in Japan. The cemetery covers an area of over 100 thousand square meters and is surrounded by more than 60 small Buddhist temples incl. Tennoji. You can find there the Shinto-style grave of Tokugawa Yoshinobu (1837-1913), the last shogun of the Edo period (1603-1867). Best Ryokans in TokyoExplore Ryokans in Tokyo
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When strolling through the park like area you will discover many elaborately decorated tombs of famous actors, artists, painters like Yokoyama Taikan, writers like Ichiyo Higuchi, industry tycoons and politicians of the Meiji time (1868-1912). The main street through the area is called Sakura-dori (cherry blossom street). It is an amazing sight during spring time (late March to early April), when the cherry trees are in full bloom. Along Sakura-dori you will find the ruins of a five-story pagoda. It was a gift in 1908 by the Tennoji Temple and in 1957 the whole place burnt down. Interesting fact: The cemetery has its own police station (koban).

  • Yanaka Cemetery
  • Open - daily from 8:30 am to 5:15 pm
  • Admission Fee - free

History

A large part of todays Yanaka Cemetery belonged to the Tennoji Temple. In 1872 the Tokyo Prefectural government decided during the nationalistic Meiji Period to make the graveyard a public cemetery. The reason behind this change was the new policy of separating Buddhism and Shinto. In 1935 the cemetery name was changed from Yanaka Bochi to Yanaka Reien.
Some words about the most famous person buried there Tokugawa Yoshinobu (1837-1913). He was the seventh son of Tokugawa Nariaki (1800-1860), lord of Mito domain. Yoshinobu succeeded Tokugawa Iemochi (1846-1866) and became in 1866 the fifteenth and last shogun of Japan. During his reign Yoshinobu made the decision to end the samurai government (shogunate) and to return the power to the emperor. Later he spent the rest of his life in retirement in Sunpu. He was granted a title of duke in 1902. He died at the age of 77 on November 22nd in 1913. His graveyard covers an area of over 5600 square meters, facing to the east.

Location Show map

Yanaka Cemetery is located near the Nippori Station within the Yanaka district in Tokyo.
Address: 7-5-24 Yanaka, Yanaka, Taito 110-0001, Tokyo

How to get to Yanaka Cemetery?

  • JR and Keisei Nippori Station is served by JR Yamanote Line
  • 3min from Nippori Station to Yanaka Cemetery

Sightseeing spots

within the cemetery and nearby:

Ruins of Tennoji Temple's five-story pagoda - The pagoda was set on fire in 1957 when 2 lovers committed suicide together at this place. Only the five foundation stones of the pagoda could be preserved.

Tennoji Buddhist Temple - The temple is known for its huge bronze Buddha statue.

Tomb of Tokugawa Yoshinobu - The last shogun of Japan and members of the family are buried there.

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

March

Shunbun no Hi (The Autumnal Equinox) (21st)
This is a time, known as ohigan, for relatives to remember the dead and visiting family graves.

September

Shubun no Hi (23rd)
This is the second ohigan period of the year when relatives visiting the graves of ancestors.

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