View of Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park – Taito City, Tokyo, Japan

View of Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park – Taito City, Tokyo, Japan

The Shinobazu Pond is a pond within Ueno Park (a spacious public park located in the Ueno section of Taito City, Tokyo, Japan), and a historically prominent Shitamachi feature often appearing in history and works of art.

The park occupies the site of the former Kan'ei-ji, a temple closely associated with the Tokugawa shōguns, who had built it to guard Edo Castle against the northeast, a direction believed to be unlucky by traditional geomancy. The temple was destroyed during the Boshin War. The pond, although modified many times and even once drained, is natural.

Situated in the south of Ueno Park, the pond is divided in three sections (see map), one called Lotus Pond because of the plants that during the summer completely cover its surface, one called Boat Pond from the rental boats it hosts, and the third called Cormorant Pond, which lies within the limits of the Ueno Zoo and takes its name from the birds that inhabit it.

The pond has a circumference of about 2 km and a surface of about 1,100,000m2. To the north it borders with the Ueno Zoo, to the east with Keisei Ueno Station, to the south and to the west with Shinobazu Dori. At its center lies Benten Island on which stands the Benten-dō, a temple dedicated to the goddess Benzaiten.

In Japanese a Benten-dō is a Buddhist temple dedicated to Benten or Benzaiten, goddess of wealth, happiness, wisdom and music. Many such temples exist all over Japan.

Video Source: 不忍池 蓮池テラスからの展望(東京都台東区) Hasuike Terrace 2021.04.03 from Japanese Railways & Buses, Climbing etc on Youtube ⁄ CC BY