Walking and the pedestrian environment
October 6, 2006
South Spirit Rise (Tokyo)

霊南坂 れいなんざか
Reinan-zaka, South Spirit Rise

Between Akasaka 1-10 and Toranomon 2-10

This article is part of the special feature Akasaka on the Rise. Check it out in my Live Maps Collection.

The official description:

South Spirit Rise map, 1707江戸時代のはじめ高輪の東禅寺が嶺南庵としてここにあり、開山嶺南和尚の名をとったが、いつか嶺が霊となった。
Until it moved at the start of the Edo Period, Takanawa’s Tozen Temple was here as South Ridge Hermitage (Reinan Iori), and although the hermitage’s name was "ridge" (rei), the rise somehow was changed to "spirit" (rei).

Unofficial explanation:

South Spirit Rise, bottomSouth Spirit Rise runs along the southeast side of the United States Embassy, between it and Hotel Okura . At its northern end it meets in an intersection with Hackberry Rise and Tide View Rise (汐見坂, Shiomizaka). Although the wall of the embassy is done attractively in a neo-Edo style, and the opposite wall is covered in ivy, it's not the nicest to walk along because of heavy traffic and its long, monotonous, ten percent grade. Also, you can only walk on the hotel side because of US security concerns.

The move of the temple occurred in 1636. Tozenji became a landmark in Takanawa (neighborhood in Minato-ku just northwest of Shinagawa Station), center of a number of temples. The temple is very impressive, and has its own neighboring rises, Cave Rise (Hora-zaka) and Wig Rise (Katsura-zaka).

South Ridge Hermitage was founded in 1610 by Tokugawa Ieyasu as a retreat for studying military strategy and tactics.

South Spirit BuildingA number of buildings around the southwest end of the rise bear its name, including Reinanzaka Protestant Church. It's one of the older Christian churches in Tokyo, founded in 1912. Reinanzaka Building houses a number of organizations that benefit from the proximity to the US Embassy, such as the United States-Japan Foundation.

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at October 6, 2006 11:40 PM
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