Take a walk in the Yanaka Cemetery, where the last Shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu rests in peace. (Tokyo)

Yanaka Cemetery is located near JR and Keisei Nippori stations. It was founded in 1872 when Tenno-ji Cemetery and some parts of Tokugawa’s cemetery were moved there. It’s 100,000 square feet and is considered one of the three largest cemeteries in Japan.

2018-09-10 Yuri Suzuki   Visit: Charming Towns, Tokyo,

Tokugawa Yoshinobu’s cemetery

A cat

Welcome to Edo and it’s old world nostalgia.

What do you imagine when hearing the word Tokyo? Some might imagine cutting-edge technology, young people in colorful clothes on Harajuku street, modeled locations of your favorite anime, or even the world from the movie, “Lost in Translation”. Tokyo has become such a hip city, but there are still some places where you can experience the nostalgia of old world Tokyo. One such place is Edo, here in Yanaka. We had previously introduced the shopping street, Yanaka Ginza and it’s one of these nostalgic places where you can get unusual handcrafts and tasty food to go. Yanaka Cemetery, which I’ll introduce to you, is located near Yanaka Ginza and there are famous people who passed away after the Meiji buried here.

Tokugawa Yoshinobu’s cemetery

The cemetery of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last Shogun who was responsible for the end of the Shogun Government.

Among all the famous people buried here, the most famous is Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the 15th Shogunate from the Edo period(1603-1868). During the Edo period, Matthew Perry came to Japan with his black ships and asked Japan to open the country to the rest of the world. People started to worship the emperor and a movement advocating reverence for the Emperor and the removal of foreigners was on the rise. However, Yoshinobu made a big decision, ending the samurai government and returning the power to the court. He decided on this, because he knew globalization would be inevitable in the future. Thinking about his decision, I also hoped to connect Japan to the world, by building a bond and finding something in common with the world. I though about this while standing in front of the beautiful Tokugawa family crest of Mitsuba-aoi.

Inside the cemetery

You can take a walk to Ueno through the cemetery.

The most accessible way to get to the cemetery is from the JR and Keisei Nippori station’s, South Exits. If you go to the left hand side, there is a stone stairway. Once you go upstairs, you’ll see a cherry blossom street, the main street of the cemetery. These cherry blossom trees form a large tunnel, and it’s very beautiful during the spring and autumn. If you go straight along this road, you’ll reach Ueno Park. There’s a retro café in an old Japanese house from the Taisho period called, Kayaba Coffe. Why not take a rest here and have a cup of coffee?

The crest


7-5-24 Yanaka, Taito, Tokyo

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Writer / Translator

I’m a freelance translator from Tokyo who likes to travel right in the middle of the unpredictables in life. Through the translation of articles I hope to create points of contact between Japan and the rest of the world. As a writer, I want to add information that isn’t in the guide book, from a “wasabi” perspective!



Address 7-5-24 Yanaka, Taito, Tokyo
Price Free
Access A 6 min walk from JR and Keisei Nippori station’s, South Exits
Phone 03-3821-4456