As the name implies, the Mizuya-mon Gate of Ueno Toshogu Shrine used to be the roof of a water stall built on the shrine grounds

MIzuya-mon Gate in Ueno Toshogu Shrine

Shot at Toshogu Shrine in Ueno, Tokyo

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The entrance to Toshogu Shrine in Ueno is rather plain compared to the entrance to the Ueno Zoo, which is a torii gate next to an old-fashioned store. This stone Myojin Torii was built in 1633, and although it is designated as an important cultural property, it is rather plain. Although there is a frame at the top, there is nothing written on it, so there is no indication that Toshogu Shrine is beyond this torii.

The people of Toshogu seem to be concerned about this, and recently several banners with the name of Ueno Toshogu have been erected around the Torii. Among the many Toshogu shrines in Japan that enshrine Ieyasu Tokugawa as Tosho-daigongen, Ueno Toshogu is one of the best. It is even listed as one of the four major Toshogu Shrines because of its gorgeousness. There is no harm in visiting it when you are in Ueno.

After passing through the Oishi Torii gate and going straight down the approach, the next gate that appears is Mizuyamon. This gate, with its unusual name, is not given much attention in Ueno Toshogu, which has many important cultural properties. Even on the official website, I could not find any description of this gate. As the name suggests, this gate was actually used as the roof of the water shed located on the right side in front of the shrine. It is said that only the shed of the water shed was moved to the current location as a gate in 1964. Perhaps because only the shed is old, the gate is not designated as an important cultural property, although it has a history of being dedicated in 1651 by Abe Shigeji, the old governor.

Even so, when I saw that the name "Toshogu" was written firmly on the plaque on the gate instead of nothing on the plaque of the Oishi-Torii gate, I got the impression that they were working steadily despite being looked down upon by their peers.

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Shooting Date

Feb 2021

Posted On

September 19, 2021

Modified On

November 10, 2021


Ueno, Tokyo


Architectural Photography





Where is Ueno Toshogu Shrine?

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