Best Historical Sites In Tokyo

Tokyo, the capital of Japan with the extraordinary large population, is the very center of everything in this country. It is full of the cutting-edge technologies and the modern skyscrapers representing the continuous growth of the economy. On the other hand, there are a number of historical sites which offer a valuable opportunity to learn about the history of the urban area, and what it has been through until it finally realized the successful development. In this article

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Tokyo Imperial Palace is an official residence for the emperor of Japan and the imperial family. It is located on the site of the old Edo castle, where the Tokugawa shogunate was established and ruled the entire country with its incomparable political power during the Edo era. Apart from the main residence, there are a number of historical structures such as administrative offices where the emperor performs the duties. Some parts of the palace is open to the public, and you can enjoy a relaxing walk in the huge park called Kokyo Gaien National Garden.

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Sensoji Temple Asakusa

Sensoji Temple is a Buddhist temple in Asakusa, Tokyo. It is known as the oldest temple in Tokyo with the long history dating back to 628. It once belonged to the Tendai sect, but became independent later. It is often listed among the top 10 temples to visit on New Year’s Day to make wishes for the year, and often selected as one of the main destinations for school trip of junior high and high school students. The giant red lantern hanging on the main gate is an iconic symbol, and you will see a lot of tourist take pictures of it. Once you enter the gate, there are a number of lively small stalls along the main street leading to the main temple. They sell traditional Japanese foods and small products suitable for souvenir!

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Edo Tokyo Museum

Edo Tokyo Museum opened in 2005, and this is exactly where you can learn the transition of the history and culture from the Edo era to the current Tokyo. The museum consists of 7 floors and 1 basement, and each of them are filled with a large selection of exhibits which help you understand the ordinary life of people back in the old days during the Edo era. One of the highlights of the museum is a half-size model of a famous bridge called Nihon-bashi, which was once an iconic wooden bridge connecting the Edo area with the other regions around Japan. The actual bridge has been replaced with the concrete one, but visitors still can observe the reproduced details at the museum. 

Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen is a huge park and garden which is located between Shinjuku and Shibuya ward. There used to be a private Samurai residence during the Edo era, and later opened to the public as a national park in 1949. The garden has a distinctive appearance with a mixture of three different styles including the traditional Japanese garden, English landscape, and a French formal. It is also famous as a cherry blossom viewing spot, and get crowded with visitors to admire the thousand cherry blossoms in bloom during the spring season!

Yushima Tenmangu

Yushima Tenmangu is a Shinto shrine situated in Bunkyo ward. It was established in 458 and dedicated to Sugawarano Michizane, who has been revered and respected as the god of learning over centuries in Japan. During the entrance examination season, students flock there to pray for good results and successfully passing the entrance exams to get into schools they are aiming for.

It is also known as a plum blossom viewing spot, and the plum trees standing by the shrine offers a peaceful time for visitors. The flower may look similar to the cherry blossoms, but you will find slight differences in its color and the number of petals.  

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Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu)

Meiji Shrine is another Shinto shrine which was established in 1920. It is dedicated to the emperor Meiji and his wife, and is also recognized as the most visited shrine on New Year’s Day in Japan. For people surviving in the busy, stressful society in the metropolitan city, it offers a peaceful time and plays a vital role to preserve the traditional aspect of the country.

The shrine is situated in a huge forest, and once you go through the entrance gate, you will be impressed by the plenty of nature and a deep forest surrounding the path leading to the main shrine. The sacred atmosphere takes away your exhaustion, and you can’t easily believe that you are in the heart of the biggest city in Japan. 

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