Yanaka Cemetery

Tokyo, Japan

Yanaka Cemetery

Yanaka Cemetery (谷中霊園, Yanaka Reien) is a large cemetery located north of Ueno in Yanaka 7-chome, Taito, Tokyo, Japan. The Yanaka sector of Taito is one of the few Tokyo neighborhoods in which the old Shitamachi atmosphere can still be felt. The cemetery is famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms that in April completely cover its paths, and for that reason that its central street is often called Cherry-blossom Avenue.

Although renamed over 85 years ago, the cemetery is still often called by its old official name, Yanaka Bochi (谷中墓地, Yanaka Graveyard), and not Yanaka Reien. It has an area of over 100 thousand square meters and hosts about 7 thousand graves. The cemetery has its own police station and a small walled enclosure dedicated to the Tokugawa clan, family of the 15 Tokugawa shōguns of Japan, which however is closed to the public and must be peeked at through double barred gates. The last shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu, also known as Keiki, rests here.

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