Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery 千鳥ケ淵戦没者墓苑
The solemn Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery houses the remains of the over 300,000 unknown Japanese soldiers and civilians that were killed overseas during World War II.
The Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery was established in 1959 to store the remains of the many unknown Japanese, which were repatriated by government missions from 1953. Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery is maintained by the Environment Ministry and is a non-controversial war memorial as opposed to nearby Yasukuni Shrine.
The remains of the dead are stored in huge ossuaries housed in the Hexangonal Hall. The largest and oldest of these ossuaries is capped by a large ceramic coffin fired with stones and earth brought from the various battlefields of World War II. The coffin holds a bronze urn from the Showa Emperor (1901-1989) - in whose name the dead had fallen.
The 16,500 square meter site is planted with evergreen trees with a sprinkling of deciduous zelkovas and contains two memorial stones engraved with poems from the Showa Emperor and the present Emperor of Japan. The Showa Emperor's poem reads: "Whenever we ponder on those who dedicated their lives for the cause of our nation, our heart aches with deep emotion."
Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery HoursHours: 9am to 4.30pm October 1-March 31; 9am to 5pm April 1-September 30.
Tel: 03 3262 2030
Access to Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery
To get to Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery take the Tokyo subway to either Kudanshita Station on the Tozai and Toei Shinjuku lines or Hanzomon Station on the Hanzomon Line.
Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery
Near Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery
Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery is close to Yasukuni Shrine and the Imperial Palace, as well as the Budokan, the Science Museum and the Crafts Gallery all in Kitanomaru Koen (Kitanomaru Park). Chidorigafuchi Park, a little south of the cemetery, is a notable Tokyo cherry blossom viewing spot.