Benzaiten Shrine, Tokyo

Benzaiten Shrine, Tokyo

The Benzaiten Shrine is located on a small island on the Shinobazu Lake. It is the oldest and best known shrine in Tokyo.

The Benzaiten Shrine is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of arts, music and knowledge. Benzaiten is the Japanese name for Saraswati. Her cult was brought to Japan from China by Buddhist Monks in the 6th or 8th centuries. A samurai called Minemoto no Tsunemoto brought a portrait of Benzaiten to Tokyo. In 1197, a descendant Minamoto no Yorimoto built the shrine in her honor.

Devotees reached the Benzaiten Shrine at first by boat. In the 17th century, a curved red stone bridge was built to make access easy. The original structure stood for three centuries before being destroyed in 1945 during the World War II bombings. Only a Yukio-e painting by Hiroshige of the original shrine remains. The present Benzaiten Shrine was built in 1958. A long vertical rope and large red paper lantern greets worshippers in the main hall and the ceiling has a beautiful painting of a dragon or Kin Ryu by the artist Kodama Kibo. Today, worshippers visit the shrine and give offerings to succeed in exams or for general prosperity. It is a calm oasis in the midst of bustling Ueno Park. There is a bench lined waterfront pathway around the island with a view of the pond and swimming ducks.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Tokyo, Japan within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Benzaiten Shrine on Map

Sight Name: Benzaiten Shrine
Sight Location: Tokyo, Japan
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Ueno Park Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Tokyo, Japan

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Religious Sites Walking Tour in Takanawa

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Shibuya Walking Tour

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Art Museums in Tokyo

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Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 km
Ginza Shopping Tour

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The Ueno Park, next to the Ueno station is a public park that offers visitors a large number of attractions. The area is home to many of the famous attractions in Tokyo. They are the Ueno Zoo, major museums like the Tokyo National Museum, The National Science Museum and The National Museum of Western Art. This walking tour would provide you an insight into old Tokyo. The museums here preserve the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
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Yasukuni Shrine Walking Tour

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Founded in 1869, this shinto shrine became known as "Yasukuni" only in 1879. Built to commemorate the soldiers who died for their country and emperor, the Shrine is located in Chiyoda District and covers the area of over 6 hectares. Within the Shrine there are numerous cultural and historic sites such as Japanese War Museum. Take this tour to learn more about Yasukuni.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km

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