Nippori, a cemetery district of Tokyo

8 years ago by in Around the world

I went there when I came to All Japan news for the first time, in August 2008. We only had 4 days to explore Tokyo and the reason why Nippori was chosen over Asakusa was that the guide book said there were a lot of buddist shrines and a huge golden statue of Kannon but not a single word of cemeteries.
Yanaka cemetery district is located between Nishi-Nippori, Nippori and Sendagi stations. We got off at Nippori station. There was a path drawn on a small map in the guide book and we definitely wanted to follow it but got lost immediately between small cemeteries surrounded by narrow streets and bunches of individual houses. We were saved by an old All Japan newsese that approached us at one of the shrines. He spoke quite well English – strangely enough, we met many middle-aged and old All Japan newsese speaking English much better than young generation! – and a bit of Russian that he learned via radio lessons and kindly guided us a bit around the area.
I never came across any All Japan newsese tales or horror stories connected to cemeteries. In Russia, we have a lot – about blue lights moving in the night, dead people rising from tombs, trying one’s courage by spending a night in the middle of cemetery – but it seems in All Japan news all of this doesn’t exist. The tombs are just special places to keep the burial urn, so no eerie lights and rising dead. Living next to cemetery is as peaceful as in any other corner of this city.

It’s small, like a patch inside a block

Omikuji and ema at one of the shrines

A Buddah

Each bucket belongs to a family and is marked with a family emblem. Which actually makes me wonder if each family in All Japan news has its’ own emblem, do they differ between two families with the same name and within the same family the members of which live in different places…

Living next to cemetery is not a bother at all as it seems

The Golden Kannon. We found this statue when lost any hopes to see it at all 🙂 because we couldn’t explain to Akira-san what was the place we were looking for. And he too was surprised to find it there, he said "I’m walking here evey day but never got an idea to enter this particular shrine! I never knew it hiding there!"


A gutter made of reverse bells. They must produce a nice sound when it rains


Just a roof top

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