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Built in 1869 to commemorate Japanese war dead, Yasukuni Shrine, or the Shrine of Peace for the Nation, is a sacred place for many Japanese, where participants in conflicts, including the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars and World War II, are all remembered here. The shrine doesn’t just honour military personnel, but also service workers who lost their lives in support of the Empire. Traditional Shinto beliefs have it that the shrine holds the spirits of the war dead for eternity: today, believers worship the more than 2.4 million Japanese war dead as deities.
While for most of the year the shrine is a peaceful place where people come and pay their respects, every year on 15 August, the shrine becomes a controversial issue. There is always speculation about whether Japan’s top politicians will visit the Yasukuni Shrine, as Chinese and South Koreans -- not to mention many Japanese – despise such visits because the shrine honours the souls of 14 Class A war criminals.
Visitors to the adjacent Yushukan museum may find the museum very biased and missing any mention of Japan's more shameful events during World War II such as The Rape of Nanjing and the country's treatment of prisoners of war and the use of 'comfort women'.
Despite all the controversy, the shrine's grounds are very beautiful and attract lots of visitors, especially during the cherry-blossom season in March/April each year. One tree in particular has been identified as the representative of the season: when its first cherry blossoms appear, it’s a highly awaited event which attracts a great deal of press attention.
The shrine is located in central Tokyo, just five-minutes away from Kudanshita subway station on foot and 10 minutes from Ichigaya subway and rail station. Admission is free and the shrine is open from 6 a.m. – 5 p.m. Yushukan museum is open daily, but closes for a few days in late June and December. There is a small entrance fee.
Located in Shinjuku, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and Isetan Department Store Shinjuku. Robot Restaurant and Samurai Museum are also within 15 minutes. Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station is only a 2-minute walk and Shinjuku-sanchome Station is 4 minutes.
Located in Akasaka, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Suntory Hall and Tokyo Midtown. Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Tower are also within 1 mile (2 km). Akasaka Station is 6 minutes by foot and Tameike-sanno Station is 9 minutes.
Located in Shinjuku, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Robot Restaurant and Isetan Department Store Shinjuku. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building are also within 1 mile (2 km). Higashi-shinjuku Station is only a 3-minute walk and Shinjuku-sanchome Station is 7 minutes.
Located in Iidabashi, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nippon Budokan, Yasukuni Shrine and Tokyo Dome. Ueno Park and Tokyo Imperial Palace are also within 3 mi (5 km). Kudanshita Station is 7 minutes by foot and Iidabashi Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Iidabashi, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tokyo Dome, Yasukuni Shrine and Nippon Budokan. Tokyo Imperial Palace and Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building are also within 6 mi (10 km). Iidabashi Station is only a 4-minute walk and Kudanshita Station is 11 minutes.
This family-friendly Tokyo hotel is located on the riverfront, within 2 mi (3 km) of Sunshine City Shopping Mall and Mejiro Garden. Omoide Yokocho and Imperial Palace Garden are also within 3 mi (5 km). Edogawabashi Station is 7 minutes by foot and Gokokuji Station is 12 minutes.
Located in Iidabashi, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nippon Budokan and Kitanomaru Park. Yasukuni Shrine and Tokyo Dome are also within 15 minutes. Kudanshita Station is 5 minutes by foot and Jimbocho Station is 10 minutes.
Located in Chiyoda, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of National Diet Building, Nippon Budokan and Tokyo Imperial Palace. Yasukuni Shrine and Hibiya Park are also within 1 mile (2 km). Kojimachi Station is 5 minutes by foot and Hanzomon Station is 5 minutes.