Resident Blog

Nezu Shrine

The area around Oak House’s Sanshu Corp Nezu seems to be packed with interesting shrines. You will find them in the most unexpected places, hidden behind buildings and houses. But even though most of them seem to be the “neighborhood shrine type” (small and easily unnoticed), there is one big shrine you can’t just walk by: Nezu Shrine. The shrine’s buildings were constructed about 300 hundred years ago, although its history seems to date back more than 1000 years.


You can actually feel that this spot is loaded with history. Every time I approach the shrine I get this unexplainable feeling, like even my body can sense the place is scared. I’m not even sure how to put it in words. There is an “old smell”, I suppose because of the weathered wood the shrine is made of.  The surrounding trees and bushes also give off an oddly “nostalgic” feeling. The only time I felt something like this was while visiting Kyoto, which as you may know, overflows with ancient temples and shrines.


Nezu Shrine was designated as a national treasure and I can easily see why. Besides the main temple buildings, there is also a toori path and an astonishing azalea garden. You just can’t regret visiting this place, no matter if it’s a rainy day or you happen to come in the evening. In my case, I mostly go around 8 PM when it’s already dark because that’s when I head home from school and have more free time. I must say that even though the temple itself is hard to see in the darkness, I like it even more than during daytime. The nighttime atmosphere is simply magical, not to mention there’s less people and a lot quieter.


I was also lucky to move here just as spring began, just in time for Nezu Shrine’s Azalea Festival. I read about this festival way before arriving but I must admit I didn’t imagine the scale of it. The whole neighborhood was literally covered in banners, letting people know about the event. The road that goes along the shrine was also overflowing with tourists every day. And for a good reason. The azalea bushes inside are beyond words.



There is a small fee (around 200 yen) for entering the garden during the festival, but you don’t have to worry if you’re on a budget – the garden can be perfectly seen from outside too. There are also thousands of azalea bushes lining the surrounding roads. I traveled around Japan quite a lot, but this is one of the most spectacular places I have even been to. And I’m really glad it’s just five minutes away from my apartment!

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My name is Cristina and I am cheerful and energetic girl from Romania, Europe.

I have been in love with Japan ever since I can remember. I first arrived here as a scared student on a rainy autumn day back in 2011. Six years later, I am happy to say that Japan isn't scary anymore and now I know Tokyo better than my hometown.

I have traveled all over Japan, from Fukuoka to Sapporo. I simply adore wandering around with my camera while capturing Japan's beauty.

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