There are lots of yureizaka (phantom slopes) in Tokyo, and at least seven of them have been spooking lily-livered pedestrians since the Edo Period (1603-1867). The slope I head for, in broad daylight, slants through the somnolent graveyards of old temples from the early 1600s. It’s a beastly summer day, so I’m hoping for some chills.

To set the mood, I start at Edo-Period Tsuki no Misaki (Moon Cape), a promontory overlooking Shibaura in Minato Ward. Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) is said to have named this stop along the Tokaido (Edo’s coastal highway to Kyoto). The view inspired Edo-Period song lyrics and appears in ukiyo-e (woodblock print) artist Ando Hiroshige’s series “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.” In his print titled “Tsuki no Misaki,” the shadow of a woman floats, ghostlike, on the left.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.