Filled to the brim with history and culture , Taito City Ward packs so much to do within its tiny borders that an entire trip to Japan could be spent here and still have places to visit on the return visit. Home to Tokyo's oldest and most iconic temple as well as heritage oozing shrines, here is an introduction to some of the temples and shrines of Taito and how to reach them.
A buzz of activity come November, Otori Shrine belies its relatively small size with a giant toriitorii gate and the hugely popular Tori-no-ichi good luck festival. Held annually since the Edo period, the festival offers elaborately designed and decorated kumade rake talismans for patrons seeking fortune and success.
A 7-minute walk from Iriya Station on the Hibiya Line.
Without a doubt the most popular temple in all of Tokyo, Senso-ji Temple is a hive of worship, shopping and entertainment activity. The oldest temple in Tokyo, the famous Nakamise shopping street that leads to it is a souvenir hunter's heaven while the temple itself is a marvel of spiritual architecture.
A 5-minute walk from Asakusa Station on the Ginza, Toei Asakusa, Tsukuba Express or Tobu Skytree lines.
With a heritage as old as the country itself, Torigoe Shrine boasts some of the most unique traditions in Tokyo. Home to the tondo-yaki festival where rice cakes are baked in flames fed by New Year decorations and lit by flint, the shrine's two-tiered design stems from its warrior heritage.
A 6-minute walk from Kuramae Station on the Toei Asakusa Line.
Ueno Toshogu Shrine
An extraordinary complex in dedication to Tokugawa Ieyasu, Ueno Toshogu Shrine was built in the early 17th-century. A nationally recognised property, the shrine itself is free to visit though a special route within its walls can be accessed for JPY500. A remarkable structure, its architecture and peony garden are a must-see.
An 8-minute walk from Ueno Station on the Hibiya or JR Yamanote lines.