靖国神社の桜祭り

8 Apr

Today my wife and I went to 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine).

靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) is a beautiful shrine in Tokyo that is dedicated to all who have died defending Japan in battle.

Some of the WW2 veterans enshrined at 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) have been classified as war criminals by Allied courts. So, for that reason, 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) is a controversial place, especially with neighboring Asian countries.

To me, 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) is Japan’s equivalent to America’s Arlington Veterans Cemetery in Washington D.C..
Nothing wrong with honoring those who sacrificed their lives for their country. (I’ve written a few other posts about 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine)…click here to read one.)

Anyways, the reason we went to 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) was to see the 桜祭り (Cherry Blossom Festival) there.

The (Cherry Blossoms) in Tokyo are close to the end of their short life. They are beginning to fall to the ground. Soon they’ll be gone until next year…so, as we do every year, we’re appreciating them before they’re gone.

Whenever the wind gently blew today, the 桜の花びら (petals of the Cherry Blossom flowers) would fall to the ground. It was like a beautiful pink snowfall!

Here are some of the photos we took today (in many of them, you can see the falling 桜の花びら (petals of the Cherry Blossom flowers)):

Entrance to 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine)

Entrance to 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine)

dscf4857

dscf4859

Can you see the falling petals in this photo?

Can you see the falling petals in this photo?

You can see the falling petals in this picture too!

You can see the falling petals in this picture too!

Sakura petals are floating in the lake.

Sakura petals are floating in the lake.

dscf48791

dscf4881

dscf4885

dscf4888

dscf4889

屋台 (Festival food booths)

屋台 (Festival food booth

Entrance to the world-famous 日本武道館 (Nippon-Budokan)

Entrance to the world-famous 日本武道館 (Nippon-Budokan)

dscf4894

Statue of a 19th century Japanese politician 品川弥二郎 (Shinagawa Yajirou)

dscf4896

dscf4899

Advertisements

14 Responses to “靖国神社の桜祭り”

  1. Shirley February 20, 2010 at 5:34 am #

    Hi Tokyo5

    Impressive pix! Yasukuni Shrine is never in my plan for my Tokyo trip but now, I am considering as my option. Will be there in mid March and stay near Ueno. May I know how could get to this wonderful shrine?

    Thanks in advance.

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 20, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

      Well, it really depends where “near Ueno” you’ll be staying. But if the closest train or subway station to your hotel is Ueno Station, then you’d either take the Ginza Line at Ueno and transfer at Mitsukoshimae Station to the Hanzomon Line and exit at “Kudanshita Station”…
      or take JR Ueno Station (either the Yamanote Line or the Keihin-Tohoku Line) and go two stops to Akihabara Station and transfer to the Sobu Line and go three stops to “Iidabashi Station”.

      Like

  2. kadhierbecks January 23, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    I agree with the point of view for honoring the one who died for defending their country, but we also have understand the other people feeling of occupied country. Why…? cause the soldier did a lot thing which have nothing have to do with the defending country stuffs like rapes, kidnapping, etc. So, he have to understand the feeling of korean, chinese, indonesian, and the other country.
    My grandfathers is also a veteran of war for the fight against Japan in Indonesia (coz I’m Indonesian). I really want to cry when I heard that even clothes at that time really difficult to find. They have to make something to wear from the leaves. Personally, maybe i have no resentment toward japan (especially after i watch “24 eyes-Nijushi no hitomi”) , but i’m really understand with their feeling (the victims).

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 23, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

      Yes, war is terrible.
      But my point is that Yasukuni Shrine is the place to honor those Japanese who die for their country.
      The shrine stays out of politics…all are treated equally there. As it should be.

      Like

  3. robby July 31, 2009 at 9:59 am #

    Be sure to visit the museum and its book store! The “we did nothing wrong!”, “we are victims!”, and “those bad, bad Americans suddenly bombed us for liberating Asia” aura is really fascinating.

    I think anyone who things Yasukuni is OK , or that it is just about honoring the war victims has no idea what Yasukuni is really about.

    Like

    • tokyo5 July 31, 2009 at 11:01 am #

      >Be sure to visit the museum and its book store!

      I have been in the museum and gift shop a number of times.

      >The “we did nothing wrong!”, “we are victims!”, and “those bad, bad Americans suddenly bombed us for liberating Asia” aura is really fascinating.

      Not exactly what it says but I understand what you’re trying to say.

      The museum shows the history of all of the wars that Japan has been involved in up to WW2 and explains them from the Japanese perspective.

      Regarding WW2, Japan says that other Asian countries were being occupied by European and Russian countries who were using the resources and had no regard for Asia’s welfare.
      Japan intended to occupy those countries and use their resources, not only for Japan, but to improve Asia in general.

      America put a naval blockade on Japan with the intention of stopping Japan from taking the neighboring Asian countries from the occupiers.

      But, many believe, America’s ulterior motive for the blockade was to force Japan to attack America and thus cause the American people to support entering the war (which is what the U.S. president wanted…but the American public didn’t support).

      Furthermore, it is said in Japan that when America dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, America knew that Japan was close to surrender but they wanted to use the bombs to demonstrate America’s might to the world (Germany was the original target, but they already surrendered before the atomic bombs were ready. Japan became the default target).

      This, of course, is completely different from what America teaches in it’s history classes.

      Couldn’t it be said that America has a “‘we did nothing wrong!’, ‘we are victims!’, and ‘those bad, bad Japanese suddenly bombed us for no reason‘ aura” regarding WW2?

      Hopefully now I won’t get lots of angry replies to my comments.
      I wasn’t there so I only know what I’ve been taught. But it seems to me that America paints history in a favorable light for itself…and so does Japan. Every country probably does.
      America’s WW2 history is to one extreme and Japan’s is to the other…the truth is probably in the middle. Some of what both sides say is true.

      War is bad either way.

      >I think anyone who things Yasukuni is OK , or that it is just about honoring the war victims has no idea what Yasukuni is really about.

      I’d say anyone who thinks Yasukuni Shrine isn’t OK has no idea what it’s really about.

      >…or that it is just about honoring the war victims…

      Not war victims. Japan’s war veterans. From samurai warriors long ago up to Kamikaze and others who died fighting in WW2.
      There’s nothing wrong with honoring those who died defending their country.
      There is a guest book in the war museum at the shrine near the display of last letters written by Kamikaze pilots.
      Those letters are quite sad. Many people leave that area in tears.
      So I was surprised to see that many foreign visitors to the shrine leave rude comments (usually in English or other foreign languages) in the guestbook. It’s quite disrespectful (and embarrassing).

      If someone can’t understand what Yasukuni Shrine is for, and their misunderstanding cause them to have bad feelings…they should still have enough respect for the dead and their surviving families to not write mean comments.

      Like

  4. cuteandcurls April 9, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    Great photos once again! They do look like snow when the petals are covering the ground. I do agree in some way with tornadoes28’s comment about other Asian countries need to get over their anger. Its been a long long time now and I think its a good time to let go of past resentment and anger. I know what Japan had committed are unforgivable and unforgettable however we are now living in the present and need to move forward. Reminds me of a time when M, a Japanese man my husband and I befriended during our holiday in Thailand, was telling us how he tried to be a good host to guests coming into his bar only to get them talking about the war crimes and all. I felt pity for M but i guess thats how the world moves at the moment ..

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 9, 2009 at 9:42 pm #

      Yes, most Japanese don’t think about WW2 anymore.
      If asked about it though, I think most Japanese would say they feel bad about what Japan did during WW2…but also feel bad about what happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And to Jewish people in Europe.
      War is a terrible thing. We should try to learn from the past and live peacefully.

      Like

      • cuteandcurls April 11, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

        I absolutely agree with what you wrote at the end of your comment.

        Like

      • tokyo5 April 11, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

        >I absolutely agree with what you wrote at the end of your comment (…live peacefully).

        Yeah, wouldn’t it be nice?

        Like

  5. Tornadoes28 April 9, 2009 at 12:29 am #

    I agree with your viewpoint about Yasukuni. It is just a place that honors those who have died. The other Asian countries need to get over their anger. It has been a long time since the war ended.

    Besides, there are legitimate arguments that the war crime tribunals were not very fair. Also, many would say that nuking and bombing civilians in Japanese cities is a war crime as well. For the winner, it is just war. For the loser, it is a war crime. Had the Japanese won, there probably would have been Americans tried as war criminals as well.

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 9, 2009 at 12:56 am #

      >The other Asian countries need to get over their anger.

      Well, personally, I wouldn’t say that. As many other countries have done, Japan has also committed war atrocities in the past.

      I would hope that resentment and anger could be put aside and the world could get along…but that often seems to be a long shot.

      As for the shrine though, I don’t think anyone should have a problem with people (even politicians and royalty) paying respects to the war dead.

      >It has been a long time since the war ended.

      Maybe not long enough yet for some people.

      >Had the Japanese won…

      Many Japanese will even admit that it’s best that they lost WW2. If they had won, Japan would likely be a totally different country (possibly similar to North Korea).

      Like

  6. tokyo5 April 8, 2009 at 11:07 pm #

    >I also had a chance to visit this shrine and the surrounding area

    It’s a beautiful area. We go often.

    >I took the same picture with the statue (third to last picture) – do you who is this person is?

    Yeah, I just added his name to the photo’s caption. He was a politician named 品川弥二郎 (Shinagawa Yajirou).

    >Did you take a romantic boat ride with your wife along the river (or is it a moat)?

    Not this time. (And it’s a 堀 (moat)).

    Like

  7. bartman905 April 8, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    I also had a chance to visit this shrine and the surrounding area (including the Nippon Budokan and the Kitanomaru Park).

    I took the same picture with the statue (third to last picture) – do you who is this person is?

    Did you take a romantic boat ride with your wife along the river (or is it a moat)?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: