The known and unknown dead

After breakfast in the coffee shop in the same building as the hotel we set out to see some of Tokyo. We started by taking the JR train south to the Meiji Shrine where the Emperor Meiji and his Empress Shoken are honoured and remembered. 100,000 trees were planted at the time the shrine was constructed so that it is now within a small wood. The place was completed in 1920, they died in 1912 and 1914 and both of them had done a great deal to open Japan to foreign interests and improve industry and education in Japan. There is quite a large area of forest around the shrine with paths. While we were there we saw a wedding group, not only the bridal pair were dressed in traditional clothing.

From there we took the underground and visited the Buddhist Temple at Zojoji. The inside of the temple was very impressive with huge gold hangings and a large Buddha. From there we walked on to the Shibamaruyama Tomb Mound. This is interesting to the extent that it is not certain who was buried here or exactly when. The body and the burial accessories have long been lost, only a few clay figures remain. It is felt that it must have been a very influential person. Next to the mound is a huge ginko tree which is thought to have been planted by the 3rd Shogun when Toshogu was built in 1650s. It is 21,5m high and at 1.2m has a circumference of 6.5m.


This post is an extract of my mother’s travel journal written during a tour of Japan in 2014.

For daily pictures you can follow me on tumblr. at, like the Travel-Tales page on Facebook at  and follow me on Twitter @tash_higman.



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