Sep 17, 2018

The obake "monster" street

During a walk through the Ueno park I suddenly spoted an interesting sign, which said „Obake Dori“ or also called in English „Monster street”.  Even that small street or I would rather call it a small way was a little bit in the back of the main ways, but except it was not maintained that well I didn´t see anything special.

The obake "monster" street photo
Obake are the traditional ghosts or monsters of Japanese folk beliefs. Many are still very popular like the Kappa or Tengu obake, which you can often see at some shrine decorations.

While walking along that way I expected to see at least a statue of these monsters or at least something similar. Maybe some ghosts will come out in the night there?
In the end I´ve found the solution, why this place was called obake dori. There was a huge stone lantern which is called monster lantern because of the huge size. The dimension of the lantern is 6 meters and the perimeter of the capping stone 3.6 meters. The lantern was a gift to the Toshogu shrine in 1631.

Even the lantern is quiete impressing, I was a little bit disappointed, that I couldn´t see anything monster related, like it was written on the sign.

Did you also have such experiences, that you expected much more from something then finally was there?



I´m a german girl living in the center of Tokyo, but my true love belongs to the countryside of Japan (especially Chiba and Hokkaido). I love traveling Japan and explore hidden areas.
I want to help people with my articles to get in touch with the Japanese culture and all the beautiful places you can explore.

Besides traveling around, I love trains, handcraft and my little rabbits.