Established in 1648, the Toshogu shrine pays tribute to the first Shogun of Tokugawa Shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu. Build on the foot of mount Futabayama, it provides scenic views over the city and caste of Hiroshima.
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Introduction to the Toshogu Shrine
With over 350 years of History, the Toshogu Shrine (広島東照宮) is of the Hiroshima’s cultural treasures. It is located just 300 meters north of JR Hiroshima station and an easy side visit to plan in. The shrine is located on the famous Futaba-no-sato Historical Walking Trail that climbs through the local mountains and includes a variety of temples, historical sights and old living quarters.
In local myth, evil would come from the north-east and the temple's demon gate (kimon) faces this direction to ward off evil and protect the castle and city. There are multiple gates and shrines around mount Futabayama facing this direction.
Those with an interest in Japanese History will recognize that more than one shrine is dedicated to Toshogu. For example, the famous Toshogu Shrine in Nikko and the frequently visited Toshogu Shrine in Ueno park, Tokyo.
The Toshogu shrine can be visited as a quick stop from Hiroshima station, or be part of a greater tour to view the historic side of the city. That includes the Futaba-no-sato historical promenade, walking path a variety of temples and shrines in the near vicinity. There are panoramic views of the city to be had and ample opportunity to learn about Hiroshima during the feudal age. Something we highly recommend, as the greater focus is on 1945 and onwards.
In addition, there are beautiful hiking trails going up Mount Futaba-yama. That are less frequented by tourists and can be a peaceful break from the busy city life in downtown Hiroshima. Along the paths are plenty of interesting stops to explore and learn more about the local environment. Such as the peace pagoda, rock of the sun, the Tamahide Inari Sha shrine and many more.
Tips for visiting
- A visit to the temple can be a wonderful and small side visit while waiting on Hiroshima station for your train. Put your luggage in a coin locker and make it a mini sightseeing trip!
- Bring good hiking boots if you plan on going up Mt. Futaba-yama, as trails can be slippery. Alternatively, take one of the paved roads winding up the mountain.
- The official opening hours are daily from 9.00 to 16:00, subject to seasonality. The temple grounds are always open.
- In case you don't want to walk, then the Meipuru Tourist bus can be used for free with the Japan Rail Pass to travel back and forth from Hiroshima station.