To the north of the Imperial Palace lies the controversial
Yasukuni Shrine, built to commemorate the Japanese war dead and now
regarded as home to the souls of about two and a half million who
perished in conflict, mostly in the Pacific War of World War II.
Soldiers fought in the knowledge that their spirits would find rest
and honour at Yasukuni in the after-life. The shrine has caused
controversy for various political reasons over the years since it
was built in 1869 in honour of supporters of the emperor, killed in
the run up to the Meiji Restoration. More recently, with regard to
the country's constitution that requires the separation of State
and religion, cabinet ministers have been criticised for attending
anniversaries of Japan's defeat in World War II held at the shrine.
The shrine is confined behind a huge steel torii gate, opening onto
a long avenue lined with gingko and cherry trees. The Worship Hall
itself is a simple Shinto style building. North of the shrine is
Address: 3-1-1 Kadunkita, Chiyoda-ku
Telephone: (03) 3261 8326
Transportation: Subway to Kudanshita Station
Opening Time: Shrine open 24 hours daily. Museum open daily 9am-5pm
(November to February); 9am-5:30pm (March to
Admission: Museum: ¥800, concessions available.