The troops of the last shogun made their last stand at Kaneiji, a Buddhist temple located in a residential neighborhood on the outer edge of Ueno Park in Tokyo. Despite its appearance as a simple temple complex, Kaneiji played a pivotal role in the history of japan, particularly during the events of 1868. This historical event marked the defeat of the forces of the last Tokugawa shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, by the revolutionary forces loyal to the Emperor. The temple is also significant as it is the burial site of six out of thirteen of the Tokugawa clan who became shogun.
Kaneiji Temple is located just outside Ueno Park, which used to be a part of the temple grounds. It was built in 1625 with the support of the Tokugawa clan, and its land was donated by Tokugawa Hidetaka, the third son of Ieyasu and the second shogun. The temple served as an important funeral temple for the Tokugawa clan, which is why many of their leaders are buried here.
One of the most influential figures during this period was Saigo Takamori, the leader of the Satsuma clan from Kagoshima. He played a key role in supporting the Emperor and was one of the leaders of the rebellion against the Tokugawa shogunate. During the Battle of Ueno, the Satsuma troops attacked the main gate of Kaneiji Temple, suffering heavy casualties but ultimately helping to end the conflict quickly. Saigo’s bronze statue can be found near the main entrance of Ueno Park.
To visit Kaneiji Temple, one can take a walk through Ueno Park, passing by Shinobazu Pond, Kiyomizu Kannondo, and the five-story pagoda inside Ueno Zoo. The temple is closer to Uguisudani Station, which is one station away from Ueno Station on the JR Yamanote Line. Alternatively, one can reach the temple by train or taxi.
Kaneiji Temple and its surroundings offer a glimpse into the history and culture of Japan. The temple’s architecture and artifacts reflect the influence of Buddhism and the Tokugawa era. The serene atmosphere of Ueno Park, combined with the historical significance of the temple, makes it a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists.
In conclusion, Kaneiji Temple is not just an ordinary Buddhist temple in Tokyo. It holds a crucial place in Japanese history, serving as the battleground for the last stand of the troops of the Tokugawa shogun. The temple complex, though reduced in size, still stands as a testament to the past and offers visitors a chance to experience the rich cultural heritage of Japan. Its location in Ueno Park, surrounded by other attractions such as the Tokyo National Museum and the Tokyo University of the Arts, makes it an ideal destination for those interested in Japanese history and culture.
Address And Maps Location:
1-14-11 Uenosakuragi, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to