Located in Hougang, this is the largest Japanese cemetery in Southeast Asia and the burial ground of Singapore’s early Japanese community.
Located in the heartland district of Hougang, the Japanese Cemetery Park is a tranquil memorial that once served the burial needs of Japanese residents in Singapore.
The largest and most well-preserved Japanese cemetery in Southeast Asia, this 30,000 square-metre memorial park provides a glimpse into Singapore’s past, with 1,000 graves holding the remains of the dearly departed.
An evolution across history
Founded in 1891, the original cemetery includes the tombs of various individuals from Singapore’s Japanese community, from those involved in agriculture and fishing to mining and publishing.
The cemetery was closed to burials in 1973, and declared a memorial park in 1987. The upkeep of the compound is now overseen by the Japanese Association of Singapore.
Notable individuals buried here include Singapore’s first Japanese resident Otokichi Yamamoto, the park’s first caretaker Weng Ya Zhang and Hisaichi Teruachi, commander of the Southern Expeditionary Army Group. The park also holds the ashes and remains of Japanese military servicemen from World War II.
Visiting in the present day
Originally, the park’s tombstones were demarcated with simple wooden crosses. The growing affluence of the Japanese in Singapore was reflected in the space’s growingly ornate and elaborate designs, with statues of Jizo (Japanese deity and Bodhisattva) and Corinthian pillars adorning its grounds.
While visitors are welcome to admire the Prayer Hall — which dates back to 1986— and walk the park’s serene grounds and snap photos beneath the floral archways, they are gently reminded to observe respect for the departed.
Some guidelines include refraining from touching the tombstones or memorials, keeping an eye on your young children and not removing any items from the graves.
Directions and opening hours
Japanese Cemetery Park is open to visitors from 7am – 7pm daily.
To get there, take the North South Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line to Ang Mo Kio station, and board bus 76 at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3. Alight at Toho Green along Yio Chu Kang Road nine stops later.
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