Located next to the Yu Garden and also known today as the Yu Garden Market, the City God Temple was built in the fifteenth century during the Ming dynasty. Originally a temple built to honour the Han statesman Huo Guang (d. 68 B.C.), it is a busy market today, specializing in traditional arts and crafts. Outside, however, it still looks like a temple.
One hundred years ago, as more and more pilgrims came to worship in the temple, many peddlers began to open shops near the City God Temple. Slowly, a popular, old-fashioned market came about. Today, around the temple and in a circumference of one-third of a mile there are more than one hundred small shops and restaurants, and the products they sell number 16,000 or more. Shanghai residents enjoy shopping here; they can find things unobtainable elsewhere and they dine at their favorite restaurants.