Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo

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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) in Tokyo is with over 7000 graves one of the three largest in Japan. The cemetery covers an area of over a hundred 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 Tokyo Experience the Ultimate Japanese Hospitality at a Tokyo Ryokan.
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When you walk through the park-like area you will discover many elaborately decorated tombs of famous actors, sumo wrestlers, artists, painters like Yokoyama Taikan (1868 - 1958), writers like Ichiyo Higuchi (1872 - 1896), industry tycoons like Shibusawa Eiichi (1840 - 1931) and politicians of the Meiji time (1868 - 1912). Look out for a signboard showing you the 70 of the most famous people and where their graves are located. The main street through the area is called Sakura-dori (Cherry Blossom Street). It is an amazing sight during the springtime (late March to early April) when the 170 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 to know that the cemetery has its own police station (koban). The place is also famous for its many well-fed cats strolling around and living a peaceful life.

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

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A large part of today's 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 the Mito domain. Yoshinobu succeeded Tokugawa Iemochi (1846 - 1866) and became in 1866 the fifteenth and last shogun of Japan. During his reign, Yoshinobu decided 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 the title of duke in 1902. Yoshinobu died at the age of 77 on November 22nd, 1913. His graveyard is in a gated section and covers an area of over 5600 square meters, facing to the east.


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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 Yanaka cemetery and nearby


Ruins of Tennoji Temple's five-story pagoda - The pagoda was originally constructed in 1644 and destroyed by fire in 1771. Many years later the pagoda was finally rebuilt in 1791. It was set on fire again 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 (Tennoji Daibutsu). Tennoji dates back to 1274. During the civil war in 1868, most of the structures burned down, except the pagoda and Buddha statue. In the mid-1950s the pagoda was destroyed by a fire, but the rest of the temple was repaired shortly after.

Tomb of Tokugawa Yoshinobu (1837 - 1913) - The last shogun of Japan and members of the family are buried there.

Take-gaki - These are different styles of bamboo fences used at the cemetery. Read the small sign boards and learn more about their history.

Ueno Park - Ueno-onshi-koen Park is housing many important museums, the oldest zoo in Japan, and is a great place to enjoy the cherry blossom season. Read more >

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)


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


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


Yanaka Matsuri (12th - 13th)
Enjoy music and dance performances, good food, and festival games in the neighborhood of Yanaka.

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