Published on November 3,2016
Many historical remnants have still remained on the hill of Ueno.

The graveyard of the Todo family in Ueno Zoo (Not open to the public) The graveyard of the Todo family remains in Ueno Zoo, and is surrounded by silence and greenery, which forms a contrast with the bustle of the zoo.  Point 3 

Tour of Ueno Park
Ueno Imperial Gift Park was originally a temple estate of Toeizan Kan-eiji Temple that was founded in 1625, and has still retained remnants of those days. The tour of Ueno Park, co-hosted by Taito City, Kan-eiji Temple and Ueno Zoo, is a popular tour that is held every spring, in which participants can deepen understanding of the history and culture of the hill of Ueno.
 

 

There were many visitors, including participants in the tour of Ueno Park, in the precincts of Toeizan Kan-eiji Temple.  Point 1 

This time, Ryoyu Miyabe, the chief priest of Kanshoin Temple, a branch temple of Toeizan Kan-eiji Temple, guided us through the tour of Ueno Park. At the beginning, he talked about the history of Toeizan Kan-eiji Temple and the inner temple.

Ueno Imperial Gift Park was originally a temple estate of Toeizan Kan-eiji Temple that was founded in 1625 by Jigendaishi Tenkai, a Buddhist priest of the highest rank, after the foundation of the Edo shogunate. Kan-eiji Temple was built with a donation from Hidetada and Iemitsu Tokugawa at the Ueno plateau in the direction of northeast from the Edo Castle. Kan-eiji Temple was protected by the Tokugawa family as their family temple. In addition to noted gardens designed by Enshu Kobori, many temples, including Kiyomizu Kan-nondo, Shinobazuno-ike Bentendo, the former five-storied pagoda of Kan-eiji Temple, Kaizando, the hall of the Great Buddha, and 36 branch temples built with donations from feudal lords (in the present, 19 temples are preserved), were erected in the large precincts of Kan-eiji Temple. Kanshoin Temple, one of the 36 branch temples, was named after the posthumous Buddhist name of Takatora Todo, the first feudal load of the Tsu domain (present-day Mie Prefecture). A secondary dwelling of the Tsu domain (the Todo family) was planned to be built in the area around the present-day Ueno Zoo and Ueno Toshogu Shrine. However, Takatora Todo donated the grounds to the Tokugawa family when Ueno Toshogu Shrine, dedicated to Ieyasu Tokugawa, was built. Also, Todo founded Kanshoin Temple as a temple attached to Toshogu Shrine in 1627. The graveyard of the Todo family (not open to the public) still remains in Ueno Zoo.
Many branch temples of Kan-eiji Temple were burnt down during the Boshin Civil War (Battle of Ueno) in 1868. The burnt-out site was developed into the first park in Japan at the suggestion of Dutch Doctor Anthonius Franciscus Bauduin who was invited by the Meiji Government in 1870. Bauduin was publicly honored as an originator of Ueno Imperial Gift Park, and his bust was built in the park in 1973. However, the first bust was made based on a picture of Bauduin's brother. The mistake had not been perceived for a long time. The new bust, based on a picture of Bauduin, was built in 2006.
 

Bust of Doctor Anthonius Franciscus Bauduin
 Point 2 
 
Monument of "Tokyo Meisho Ueno Toeizan Zenzu" by the First Hiroshige Utagawa
 

"Tokyo Meisho Ueno Toeizan Zenzu" by the First Hiroshige Utagawa (Hiroshige Ichiryusai) (created around 1830-1843) (Owned by the National Diet Library)

Traces of the view at that time, which one looks out over the main sanctuary of Kan-eiji Temple from the approach to the temple, still remain in the present-day Ueno Imperial Gift Park. Now, there is Tokyo National Museum on the site where the main sanctuary of Kan-eiji Temple previously stood, but one can imagine the vastness of the precincts of Kan-eiji Temple in those days.
 

The former five-storied pagoda of Kan-eiji Temple, which now stands in Ueno Zoo, can be seen from the approach to Ueno Toshogu Shrine. The five-storied pagoda, which previously stood in the precincts of Ueno Toshogu Shrine, became under the control of Kan-eiji Temple by the Edict for Separation of Shinto and Buddhism issued in the Meiji Period. Later, the pagoda was donated to the Metropolis of Tokyo, and now it is located in Ueno Zoo.  Point 4 
We took a rest at a drawing room in Toeizan Kiyomizu Kan-nondo when getting a little bit tired from walking. We listened to explanations from Ryoyu Miyabe, the chief priest of Kanshoin Temple, and asked him some questions.  Point 5 

There is a tomb commemorating the Shogitai in Ueno Park that was a battleground of the Boshin Civil War. Point 6 

Participants in the tour of Ueno Park can learn about Ueno Park, which many tourists and museum-goers from home and abroad visit, events happened in the park in the Edo and Meiji Periods, and its history and relics. The participants can imagine the bustle of the approach to Kan-eiji Temple in the Edo Period and those views at that time by seeing Shinobazuno-ike Bentendo, the Ikenohata area, and Ueno Park in which many museums are now located.

Tour of Ueno Park
Ueno Imperial Gift Park was originally a temple estate of Toeizan Kan-eiji Temple that was founded in 1625, and has still retained remnants of those days. The tour of Ueno Park, co-hosted by Taito City, Kan-eiji Temple and Ueno Zoo, is a popular tour that is held every spring, in which participants can deepen understanding of the history and culture of the hill of Ueno.
 

 

"Ueno Yamashita" by Hiroshige Utagawa (Owned by the National Diet Library)
 
Hiroshige Utagawa depicted the bustle in front of Toeizan Kan-eiji Temple's gate, which was titled "Ueno Yamashita," one of the "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo." The inside of "Iseya," a restaurant, can be seen in the picture. It seems that visitors to Kan-eiji Temple, who are on their way home, are depicted. "Torii," or an archway to Gojotenjin Shrine, next to Iseya can be seen.
 

For more information about Toeizan Kan-eiji Temple, see "Visiting Senso-ji Temple."