Yushima Tenjin Shrine
Yushima Tenjin (湯島天神), or Yushima Tenmangu (湯島天満宮), is a Shinto shrine located near Ueno Park in Tokyo. Though it is rather a small shrine, it is a popular one, especially among school students who want to pass entrance exams.
This shrine was initially founded in 458 to enshrine Ameno-tajikarao, a god of strength, according to legend. But as it ushered in another divinity Sugawara no Michizane (845-903), a popular man-turned-god who was known for his intelligence when he was still alive, to join in the shrine in 1355, it became a shrine famous for its divine favor to those who are studying. Almost all the Tenmangu shrines can be traced back to Dazaifu Tenmangu in Fukuoka Prefecture or Kitano Tenmangu in Kyoto.
It's a 2-min walk from Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line Yushima Station, or a 5-min walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Ueno-Hirokoji Station or Toei Oedo Line Ueno-Okachimachi Station.
Emaden is where ema pictures dedicated to the shrines are hung. Present Emaden was constructed in 1892.
Shaden, completed in 1995, is the main building.
Spritual franchisees of Tenjin (Tenmangu) shrines tend to favor ume (Japanese apricot) flowers, and this shrine is no exception.
About 300 ume trees are planted, and around mid-February to early March, the Ume Matsuri (the Japanese Apricot Festival) is held every year.Events are held on weekends during this period. For details, see the article on the Ume Matsuri at Yushima Tenjin.
The Reitaisai, or the annual grand festival, of Yushima Shrine is held in late May.
In an even-numbered year, a horen and a mikoshi, both of which are a kind of portable shrine, owned by Yushima Shrine, parade through the territory the divinities of the shrine protect. Beside this parade, around 13 mikoshi owned by local communities perform a joint parade every year in front of the shrine. For details about this event, see the article on the Reitaisai at Yushima Tenjin Shrine.
Around November, some temples and shrines display chrysanthemum flowers, and Yushima Shrine is one of the most prestigious of them. The Kiku Matsuri , or the Chrysanthemum Festival, is held annually in November. For details about this event, see the article on the Kiku Matsuri at Yushima Tenjin Shrine.