Last year, I visited Ueno Zoo for the second time. Most people know Ueno Zoo for its pandas, but how many people know about its Thai and historic Japanese architecture? A relatively new addition to the zoo, the Thai Pavilion may seem out of place.
But there’s a much more impressive structure nearby. If you’ve visited the zoo, you may remember a 5 storey pagoda. This pagoda is part of Kan’eiji Temple. This temple was established in 1625, and at its height, occupied the entire area in the heights, as well as where Ueno Station is now. It was huge. There are several structures in Ueno Park that were part of the Kan’eiji complex, but most were destroyed. In 1657, the Mereiki fire destroyed most of the complex, but then many new structures were built. During the Battle of Ueno in 1868, most buildings were destroyed. The temple’s main hall was actually transported from Kawagoe’s Kita-in Temple. Some parts of the original temple that remain include the Toshogu Shrine and the 5 storey pagoda. For more information, please read the Wikipedia page.
For a map of the area, please see below. The pagoda is at the centre of the map.
Want to see more Japan? See “Show Me Japan!”