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Ukiyo-e Tour to Kameido Tenjin Shrine


wisteria in Kameido Tenjin

Kameido Tenjin Shrine in Tokyo has beautiful wisteria racks. If you visit there in late April or early May, beautiful purple flowers cover the whole area inside the shrine. And they annually hold Wisteria Flower Festival. However this year 2020, due to the spread of COVID-19, the festival was unfortunately canceled. But flowers anyway bloom. So when I passed there at the beginning of May, I could see the flowers full in bloom.

1. Wisteria Viewing in Kameido Tenjin

Ukiyo-e painters in the 17th and 18th century made paintings and woodblock paints of famous places throughout Japan. Kameido Tenjin Shrine was one of such popular places depicted in Ukiyo-e paintings. I found that Brooklyn Museum had a collection of copyright-free ukiyo-e. So today, I would like to take you to the Ukiyo-e tour to the Shrine.

Inside Kameido Tenjin Shrine, No. 65 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

The view of Ukiyo-e is more or less the same scene I saw a few weeks ago.

wisteria in Kameido Tenjin

Wisteria in Kameido Tenjin with Skytree in back

2. Archi-shaped Taikobashi Bridge

In the above Hiroshima’s print, there is an arch-shaped bridge in the middle of the pond.  It is called Taikobashi bridge.  I am not sure if it is the same one but you can find the same type of bridge today.  This year, I did not take a photo of the bridge.  So let me show you the one I took three years ago.  Although the temple is now surrounded by high-rise apartment houses, inside Kameido Tenjin still keeps the same calm atmosphere of over 150 years ago.

Kameido Tenjin and Wisteria

This bridge was a popular sight-seeing spots in old days.  Therefore, the world-famous ukiyo-e painter Hokusai made a woodblock print of the bridge.

Ukiyo-e of Kameido Tenjin Shrine

Unusual Views of Celebrated Bridges in the Provinces-Kameido Tenjin Taiko Hashi

Wikipedia has an old photo of this bridge taken in 1914.

photo of Kameido Tenjin Shrine

Viewing the Wisteria on Taiko Bridges in Kameido Tenjin Shrine, Kameido, Tokyo

This year, in order to keep so-called social distance / physical distance, most of the area of wisteria racks was off limit.  So there were not many people in the shrine.  But three years ago, the shrine was quite packed with many flower viewers.  Gone are the days…  I hope we can fully enjoy the flowers next year.

3. Plum Blossoms in the Shrine

During the early spring time, this shrine annually holds the plum blossoms festival.  People enjoyed the flowers 150 years ago, too.

plum tree ukiyoe by Utagawa Hiroshima

Plum Estate, Kameido, No.30 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (1857) Woodblock print by Utagawa Hiroshima

4. Snow Viewing in the Shrine

Even during the winter time, people found the beauty in a calm space of the shrine.

ukiyoe of Kameido Tenjin Shrine

View of Kameido Tenmangū Shrine in Snow

I hope you like today’s Ukiyo-e Tour.

For More Information on Kameido Tenjin Shrine:

Address: 6-1 Kameido 3-chome, Koto-ku, Tokyo

Access: 15-min walk from Kameido Station of JR Sobu Line

Established in 1661.

Useful websites:
https://travel.gaijinpot.com/kameido-tenjin-shrine/
https://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-temples-shrines/kameidotenjinja
https://www.japan.travel/en/spot/1702/

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