Ōedo Line: Kasuga


(wet nurse of the 3rd shōgun)

Kasuga no Tsubone
Kasuga no Tsubone

Kasuga no Tsubone was the woman who raised the 3rd shōgun, Tokugawa Iemitsu. When she retired from her service at Edo Castle, she built a large estate in this area[i].

You’ll have to do a little walking, but this station gives you access to Tōkyō Dome and the famous Edo Period daimyō garden at 小石川後楽園 Koishikawa Kōrakuen and everything I mentioned about Iidabashi. It also gives you 伝通院 Denzū-in, the temple at which Tokugawa Ieyasu’s mother is interred as well as the notorious Bakumatsu douchebag known as Kiyokawa Hachirō.

The Suidōbashi (aqueduct bridge) in the Edo Period.
The Suidōbashi (aqueduct bridge) in the Edo Period.

This station also gives you access to 水道橋 Suidōbashi, a bridge that is named after an elevated aqueduct that delivered clean water to the Koishikawa district. There is a monument and a few traces of the aqueduct in the area, but most of the story of Suidōbashi is best told at the Tōkyō Waterworks Museum – which I talk about in the previous article and the next article.

Tokyo Dome
Tokyo Dome

If you’re up for a-walkin’, a 20-30 minute straight shot on foot up Kasuga Street will bring you to 茗荷谷 Myōgadani[ii], literally “ginger valley.” There are some temples in the area related to the Tokugawa and a stone lantern commemorating the Christian Mansion. Christian Mansion sounds like a lovely place to live, but in fact, it was a prison and torture center established as the shōgunate enacted the final expulsion of Christians from the country[iii].

Further Reading:

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This article is part of an ongoing series that starts here.

[i] Here’s my article about Kasuga Street.
[ii] It will be a hike. Myōgadani is best accessed by the 丸之内線 Marunouchi-sen Marunouchi Line.
[iii] In fact, Christianity continued to exist in small underground pockets here or there throughout the Edo Period, despite being expressly prohibited by the shōgunate.

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