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Recommendation course

Taito city Course (Ueno)

4 the former Kan'ei-ji Temple, 5-story Pagoda


©Tokyo Zoological Park Society

National Important Cultural Properties (Building)
Designated on April 17, 1911

The former Kan'ei-ji Temple was located at the right hand side of the approach to Tosho-gu Shrine. It is currently located inside Ueno Zoo. This 5-story pagoda was constructed as one of the temples for Tosho-gu Shrine by request of Toshikatsu Doi in 1631. However it was burned down by fire in 1639. According to a record called "Sorin Roban Mei", Toshikatsu Doi requested the reconstruction of the temple, and it was restored by Munehiro Koda, and Munehisa Koda, the master builders of the government. They are father and son builders who also constructed Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine. In Meiji period, this temple became a property of Kanei-ji Temple, and then donated to Tokyo Metropolitan government in 1958. The structural style is 3-bay 5-story pagoda, Tile roofing for the first to fourth floor, Copper sheeting for the fifth floor. The main pillar is placed on a foundation stone instead of being suspended. The whole pagoda was coated by Ni-urushi (red lacquer), the inside of the pagoda was coated by regular lacquer and the floor, ceiling and altar were coated by black lacquer. The wall and four pillars were coated by red lacquer. The main pillar was beautifully coated by lacquer and gold. The whole pagoda is thin and tall, and each layer is constructed based on the same dimensions and styles, which is typical case of pagoda construction in Edo period. Also, on the first floor there used to be valuable statues of Four Direction Four Buddha: Shaka-Nyorai (east), Yakushi-Nyorai (south), Amida-Nyorai (west) and Miroku-butsu (north), which are now consigned to Tokyo National Museum.

Opening times

Date :
When the Ueno Zoo is open
Time :
9:30-17:00 (The time when the zoo is open)
Adults 600 yen, 65 yrs and older 300 yen, junior high students 200 yen (free for elementary school students and junior high students living in Metropolitan Tokyo)
Access & Required Time
9-83 Ueno-koen, Taito City
5-min walk from JR Ueno Station (Koen Exit)
Flash photograph is prohibited in some areas. Please observe the restrictions.No smoking inside the Ueno Zoological Gardens other than two smoking areas. lavatories : provided