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The garden of cherry trees opposite the shrine leads into a very large area with numerous points of interest.

The most important, which you’ll find just after the Noh theater, is the Yashukan Military Museum, containing artifacts and documents connected with Japanese military activity from the beginning of the Meiji period until the end of the Second World War. The museum, which has free entry, was founded in 1882, and is the oldest military museum in Japan. In the two-story building, visitors can admire a fighter plane, a steam locomotive and mementos of soldiers killed in battle, such as letters sent from the front line. On the second floor is a theater that shows documentaries about the shrine and about Japan.

Next to the museum are the temple archives, in front of which you can see a monument dedicated to women and children, while on the other side are three statues in honor of the horses, dogs and carrier pigeons killed during the war.

If you continue to the back of the courtyard, passing by a small parking area, you’ll see, on your left, a Japanese Sumo wrestling ring.

On your left is the entrance into the Sacred Pond Garden, one of the most beautiful and widely admired in Japan, created at the beginning of the Meiji era. Leave time for a stroll around the pond; enjoying the view of the waterfall in such an enchanting, peaceful environment will make you feel as if you’re actually in the mountains.  

In the garden, you’ll also find three delightful tea rooms open to the public, and if you go behind the main shrine, you’ll see the attractive building donated by Emperor Hirohito, where the names and details about the fallen who are honored in the shrine have been recorded on hand-crafted Japanese paper. There are also two other small wooden shrines: one dedicated to the fallen of other nationalities, and another, from Kyoto, was the first to be built in honor of soldiers killed in battle.


An interesting fact: to the left of the entrance to the Yashukan Museum is a bronze statue of a kamikaze pilot, with a small plaque listing the names of the 5843 men who died in suicide attacks during the Second World War.


Our visit to the Yasukuni Shrine ends here. MyWoWo would like to thank you - see you again at another Wonder of the World!


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