Nezu Shrine is located in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, a bit away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Nezu Shrine has a history of over 1,900 years and is a venerable shrine where five deities are enshrined. The "Senbon Torii" (thousand torii gates) and the scenery created by the rich nature are popular tourist spots.

While various events are held at Nezu Shrine throughout the year, the most exciting is the annual azalea festival held every April. The sight of azaleas blooming exuberantly and the combination of beautiful flowers and historic buildings are popular attractions. Although azaleas can only be seen for a limited time, many people from Japan and abroad visit Nezu Shrine during this period every year.

Highlights of the Azalea Festival

Source: Nezu Shrine official website

The highlight of the azalea festival is the sight of about 3,000 plants of around 100 colorful azalea species blooming in profusion. The scenery of pink, white, red, and purple flowers spreading as far as the eye can see makes anyone want to take out their camera.

My personal recommendation is to view the azaleas from the hilltop beyond the thousand torii gates. It's as if many torii gates are enveloped in a pink cloud, creating an unforgettable scenic view.

Additionally, another highlight is the ability to experience the traditional Japanese atmosphere of "wa" (harmony). At this festival, many food stalls typical of Japanese festivals are set up, selling festival staples like yakisoba (fried noodles), okonomiyaki (savory pancakes), and takoyaki (octopus balls). There are also stalls selling Japanese souvenirs, crafts, and games, allowing you to fully experience a Japanese festival atmosphere. You can also enjoy viewing Japanese antiques and bonsai trees, which are exhibited daily during the festival period.

Furthermore, there are days when events showcasing Japanese traditions such as portable shrines, dances, naginata (Japanese sword martial art), and wadaiko (Japanese drums) are held. While all these events are highly recommended, I particularly suggest experiencing the wadaiko performance. The intensity and vibrations of the live drumming performance are something that cannot be conveyed through video.

Azalea Festival Period

Unfortunately, the dates for the 2025 azalea festival are not yet confirmed. However, in 2024 it was held from March 30 (Sat) to April 30 (Tue), and in 2023 from April 1 (Sat) to April 30 (Sun), so it is expected to take place sometime in April 2025 as well.

The azaleas gradually change throughout the festival period. With early-blooming and late-blooming varieties planted, you can enjoy the changing colors depending on when you visit. There are different charms to appreciate – the colorful azaleas contrasting with the new green leaves in the early period, the full bloom in mid-season, and the late-blooming azaleas after the early ones have scattered.

As the blooming period varies yearly, please check the latest information on the Nezu Shrine website, Instagram, etc., before visiting.
Official Instagram:

Basic Information for the Azalea Festival

The azalea garden is open from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Entry may be restricted during crowded periods.

While entry to Nezu Shrine is free, an admission fee of 500 yen is required to enter the azalea garden. However, children of elementary school age and under can enter the azalea garden for free when accompanied by an adult.

During the festival period, you can also view the "Thirty-six Immortal Poets' Portraits and Life-sized Statues," ancient Japanese paintings and bronze statues, for an additional fee of 300 yen. Please note that tripods, monopods, and eating/drinking are prohibited in the garden, and re-entry is not allowed.

- Garden hours: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
  * Entry may be restricted during crowded periods

- Admission fee: 500 yen (Free for elementary school children and under when accompanied by an adult)
  * Entry to Nezu Shrine itself is free

Additionally, during the festival period, you can view the "Thirty-six Immortal Poets' Portraits and Life-sized Statues," ancient Japanese paintings and bronze statues, for an additional fee of 300 yen.

Please note that tripods, monopods, and eating/drinking are prohibited in the garden, and re-entry is not allowed.

Access to Nezu Shrine

The most convenient train lines to reach Nezu Shrine are the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, Tokyo Metro Namboku Line, and Toei Mita Line.

・Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line: 5-minute walk from Nedu Station or Sendagi Station
・Tokyo Metro Namboku Line: 5-minute walk from Todaimae Station
・Toei Mita Line: 10-minute walk from Hakusan Station

You can also access by bus or car. For more details, please check the official website.

Check details:

Nearby Tourist Spots

Nezu Church

Nezu Church
Source: TripAdvisor

Nezu Church, built in 1919, is a Protestant church that miraculously survived major earthquakes and disasters that struck the Tokyo area. Despite repeated restoration work, it has maintained its appearance for over 100 years. This church exudes a warm, welcoming atmosphere with its wooden structures and intricate designs, evoking a sense of nostalgia even for first-time visitors.

In addition to regular worship services and gatherings, Nezu Church hosts various events throughout the year, such as Easter, Christmas, church bazaars, and concerts. All of these events are open to newcomers, so feel free to participate.

- Address: 1-19-6 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0031
- Closed/Opening Hours: The church is open daily, but interior tours may not be available during worship services or gatherings.
- Phone: 03-3821-6342
- Official Website:

Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street is a retro-style shopping street with an old town atmosphere. Along the 170-meter street, there are around 60 stores of various types lining both sides.

This shopping street has a cat motif, with cat statues and signs found everywhere. There are also stores selling cat-themed souvenirs and sweets featuring cats. For cat lovers, this cat-filled shopping street is irresistible.

It is also recommended to view the shopping street from the "Yuhi Dandan" (sunset steps) during dusk. You can gaze upon the orange-lit sky, the illuminated shopping street below, and the people gathering there, all at once. This scenery reminiscent of old Japan is one of my favorites.

- Address: 3-13-1 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0001
- Closed/Opening Hours: Varies by store, please check individual store hours directly.
- Phone: None (Email:
- Official Website:

Yanaka Cemetery

Yanaka Cemetery

Yanaka Cemetery, established in 1874, is a massive cemetery spanning 10 hectares. In contrast to the city's bustle, time flows peacefully and calmly in this vast space. Additionally, the cherry blossom trees lining the area bloom beautifully in spring, making Yanaka Cemetery a recommended spot for strolls while enjoying views of the SkyTree tower year-round.

As mentioned earlier, Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street has a cat motif, but the relatively less crowded Yanaka Cemetery actually has a higher chance of spotting real cats. Be sure to keep an eye out for them while strolling. There is also a temple called Tenno-ji within the cemetery grounds, where you can view a large Buddha statue.

- Address: Yanaka 7-chome, Taito-ku
- Closed: Year-end and New Year holidays (December 29 - January 3)
- Opening Hours: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM (Reception until 4:30 PM)
- Phone: 03-3821-4456

Yanaka Ginza is a nostalgic area with preserved historic buildings and streetscapes, offering a different pace from the city center. When visiting Nezu Shrine, it is recommended to extend your trip and explore the surrounding areas.

For first-time visitors to Yanaka Ginza, the "Yanaka Historical Walking Tour in Tokyo's Old Town" is highly recommended. This tour includes visits to Nezu Shrine and an experience of coloring cat figurines.

You can also enjoy shopping, dining, and soaking in the nostalgic atmosphere of old-town life in Yanaka Ginza. Tour guides can introduce you to hidden gem spots only known to locals. Be sure to check the 
details at the following URL: