Tokyo, Japan

Church and State

One of the most interesting places I visited in Tokyo was Yasukuni Shrine which is a Shinto shrine dedicated to soldiers who fought and died for Japan and it also houses the Japanese War Museum. The walls of bright yellow lanterns leading up the shrine strikes visitors immediately as they enter and is an impressive monument but there is some controversy over the inclusion of convicted war criminals who are also included due to Japanese religious beliefs and the strict separation of church and state in Japan.

The war museum was also fascinating and it presented a very different perspective on history and World War II at times which was interesting and at times borders on revisionist. Visually the shrine was one of the most visually dynamic monuments I saw in my visit to Japan and made a huge impression.