Attraction Yushima Seido 1-4-25 Yushima Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0034, Japan Published on: 13-11-2015
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Why YUSHIMA TEMPLE is special ?
Yushima Tenman-gu is located in Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. The shrine is thought to have been founded in 458, and later, in 1355, enshrined the spirit of Sugawara Michizane, who had been banished from Kyoto to Kyushu and died in disgrace. The shrine received powerful protection from the 17th century onward in particular, when Japan was governed by the shogunate based in Edo (present Tokyo). An eminent scholar and calligrapher, Sugawara Michizane was worshipped as a god of learning, bring a constant stream of visitors with scholarly or literary hopes to the shrine. Even now, many students visit the shrine seeking blessings for their success in entrance examinations.
What to explore at YUSHIMA TEMPLE?
The temple's structure has a unique black exterior. The massive main building is stately and impressive, if a bit stark and somber. The door at the center of the temple leads into an interior treasure room, which is only open on weekends and holidays. With a ¥300 suggested donation for entry, the treasure room contains a beautiful collection of paintings, statues, and artifacts. There is a statue of Confucius flanked by four shihai, or wise men. Though serene and unique to Japanese style, the collection lacks explanation and has no English, save for a printed pamphlet explaining a general history.
The temple's grounds are more beautiful than the building itself. Twisted, elderly kai trees dot the area (in tradition with the legend that Confucius's followers planted kai trees) filled with beautiful stone walls, paths and stairs. The pathways lead to a large stone statue of Confucius, the largest of its type in the world. The statue was donated by the Lions Club of Taiwan in 1975.
How to get to YUSHIMA TEMPLE?
Yushima Seido Temple is a 4 minute walk from the Hijiribashi Exit of JR Ochanomizu Station (Sobu, Chuo-Sobu Lines) and Shin-Ochanomizu Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line). Cross the Hijiribashi (Sage's Bridge), and you will find it on your right. There are many English street signs in the area pointing to it and other landmarks in the area, including the Holy Resurrection Cathedral and the Kanda Myojin Shrine.
- Beautiful and peaceful temple
- Unique impact on Japanese history
- World of confucius images
- Holy land of academic
- Center of Confucianism in the Edo era.
Yushima Seido 1-4-25 Yushima Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0034, Japan
Tips for you
I am fond of this shrine, because it stands less than a block from where I live in Tokyo during my long stays in the city. Every day I walk through its quiet grounds on my way to Ueno Park or the metro. Sometimes, I come across a wedding in progress or a festival that entices me to stay. For example, about a month ago a chrysanthemum festival was under way that featured stunning flower arrangements. Kimono-clad women attended, some bringing their young daughters also dressed in kimonos. This festival included an animal trainer, with a performing monkey on the grounds. Though the shrine is a focal point for the neighborhood, I doubt it offers much for the typical tourist (hence, my "average" rating). But I would recommend Yushima as a stop if there is a festival on or if you are interested in seeing one of Tokyo's few Confucian shrines.