Return to Top Page
Return to January


Toshogu means "light of the east" and refers to 200 shrines built across Japan to enshrine the deified spirit of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate which ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868.

Tokugawa Ieyasu was originally enshrined at Kunosan in Shizuoka after his death in 1616. Later he was enshrined in the Nikko Toshogu where his remains are kept to this day.

The Ueno Toshogu shrine was first built in 1627 by the feudal lord Todo Takatora. It was rebuilt in 1651 by the third Tokugawa Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu and has miraculously survived a massive earthquake, fires, and war. The shrine was partially rebuilt 16 times.

The Ueno Toshogu was said to have been created for the convenience of the Daimyo (feudal lords) who were at the time required to spend six months in Edo and expected to pay their respects to Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Ueno Toshogu Shrine reopened on January 1, 2014 after five years of renovation.
(from Ueno Toshogu pamphlet)

URL: Ueno Toshogu Shrine


Winter Peonies Festival
January 1 through February 22
Ueno Toshogu Shrine

The Botan (Peony Flower) Garden at Ueno Toshogu Shrine is famous for its Kan-botan (winter peonies). Though the peonies put flowers usually in early May, the Japanese loved this plant so much that they developed the unusual, winter-flowering kan-botan (winter peonies). About 600 peony bushes including 40 varieties open their colorful blossoms under a protective straw shade.

Nearest Stn.: Ueno Station on JR Yamanote Line. 5 minutes walk from Ueno Dobutsuen (Ueno Zoo) Exit.
Admission: 600yen
Telephone: 03-3822-3575 (Toshogu Peony Garden)/ 03-3822-3455 (Ueno Toshogu Shrine)