Tokugawa Ieyasu was the founder and first shogun (general) of the Tokugawa Shogunate (samurai-ruled government), which effectively reigned Japan for nearly 300 years from 1600 to 1868. In 1617, Ieyasu was posthumously enshrined at Nikko Toshogu Shrine by his heir, Hidetada (1579-1632).
Hidetada's heir, Iemitsu (1604-1651) is known to have worshiped his grandfather. When he became the third shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate, he refurbished Nikko Toshogu Shrine in a grand scale and to a state almost exactly as you see it today. He also recommended the lords who ruled various parts of the country that they build their own Toshogu Shrines to worship Tokugawa Ieyasu. As a result, around 700 Toshogu Shrines were built throughout Japan. Today, approx. 130 remain intact.
During this major renovation, his right-hand man moved some of the old buildings from Nikko to Serada, where the Tokugawa clan originated, and Serada Toshogu Shrine was established there. Standing right next to it is the Choraku-ji Temple. It was built in 1221 by Yoshisue Serada. Serada is the birthplace of the Tokugawa clan, and he is the first-generation. Choraku-ji was Serada's parish temple and was originally a Zen temple. It was converted to a Tendai Buddhism temple by a high Tendai priest who was influential to the Tokugawa Shogunate at the time. Choraku-ji was also appointed to manage the affairs of Serada Toshogu Shrine by the Tokugawa Shogunate and was given the money and land. When Choraku-ji needed repair work, the cost was paid for by the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Along with other historical buildings such as Ikushina Jinja Shrine and the old Sorimachi Manor, Serada Toshogu Shrine and Choraku-ji Temple are standing on the premises of the Nitta National Historical Site complex.
The Temple Ground
Serada Toshogu Shrine is comprised of many buildings. Of these,Honden, the main hall,Karamon, the Chinese gate, andHaiden, the worship hall are all designated as nationally important cultural properties. InHonden, there is a sculpture known as "Sugomori-no Taka", literally translated
"A hawk retreated in its nest" by a master artist, Hidari Jingorou, who is famous for his work at Nikko Toshogu Shrine, "the sleeping cat".
Serada Toshogu Shrine
Address: 3119-1 Serada-cho, Ota MAP
Admissions: JPY300 for adults JPY100 for Primary & Jr. High School Students
Hours: April-October: 9:00-16:30 November-March: 9:30-16:00