Kanei-ji Temple was originally built in 1625 as a family temple of the Tokugawas by the high Buddhist priest Tenkai, who had a great respect from Tokugawa Ieyasu - founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate - and his successors Hidetada and Iemitsu.
After a mausoleum for the 6th Tokugawa Shogun Ienobu was built in Zojo-ji, which is another family temple of Tokugawas, a mausoleum for the Tokugawa shogun was built alternately in Kanei-ji and Zojo-ji.
The temple ground was extended throughout the today's Ueno Park with some 30 major and 36 smaller buildings in its heyday, but the original temple halls of Kanei-ji were destroyed during the battle of Ueno in 1868, a part of the Boshin War.
The present buildings were reconstructed in 1875.
The Konpon Chu-do (main hall), the Kaisan-do, the Kiyomizu Kannonn-do, and the Shinobazu-no-ike Benten-do are among the structures that are located near Ueno Park.
A short distance away from the temple, there is also a five storied pagoda which was originally belonged to Ueno Toshogu Shrine.
The pagoda was made to belong to Kanei-ji Temple by the Meiji government's "separation of Buddhism and Shintoism" policy in the Meiji period (1868 – 1912).
Measuring 36 meters from the ground to the nine decorative rings located on the tip of its roof, the structure incorporates five Japanese-style architectural tiers, each with three rooms.
(You need to enter the Ueno zoo if you want to get closer to the pagoda.)
- 9:00 – 16:00
- No closing days
Access / Public Transport
- 5 minutes walk from JR Uguisudani Station