Sengakuji TempleFree: All time

Sengakuji Temple is a temple mainly famous for its graveyard where the “47 Ronins” are buried. One of the most popular historical stories in Japan, the tale took place at the start of the 18th century. It is about a group of ronin (masterless samurai) who avenged the death of their lord, Asano Naganori, in order to restore his honor. Asano was unjustly ordered to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) for assaulting a court official named Kira Yoshinaka. It took the ronin almost two years to plan for the revenge. When they finally did kill Kira, the 47 ronins turned themselves in and were themselves obliged to commit seppuku. This true story was popularized in Japanese culture as the emblem of loyalty, sacrifice, persistence, and honor. It is also perceived as the country’s “national legend.” Plays, including bunraku and kabuki, often portray the story. In 2013, the tale made its way even to Hollywood in the movie “47 Ronin” featuring Keanu Reeves.

Address: 2 Takanawa, Minato, Tokyo
Opening hours: Apr-Sep Daily 7am – 6pm, Oct-Mar Daily 7am – 5pm
Direction: Subway Asakusa Line to Sengakuji Station, Mita and nanboku Lines to Shirokanetakanawa Station
Phone: +81 03 3441 5560

Photo credit: Stéfan (Flickr CC), David Pursehouse (Flickr CC), Spitaldust (Flickr CC)