The Ueno Toshogu shrine was a sight to behold as its golden exterior and sense of demanding authority drew me closer and closer to it as I walked down the short pathway lined with bronze lanterns donated by Japanese lords. Having withstood both wars and earthquakes since its construction in 1627, one can't help but be awed by its magnificence. A shrine possessing many distinctive architectural qualities from the Edo period, it was built in honor of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate. There was also a very lovely peony garden that will be open until mid-February with over 500 varieties in bloom. A definite hidden gem worth stopping by during your next visit to Ueno.