Kameido Tenjin Shrine
Kameido Tenjin (亀戸天神), formally Kameido Tenjinsha (亀戸天神社), is a Shinto shrine known for its wisteria blossoms in spring from the feudal times. This shrine was virtually established in 1661.
It enshrines Sugawara no Michizane, a politician and scholar of the 9th century, who is now widely worshiped as a god of learning who offers favor to those who are studying for entrance or certification exams. This shrine is a spiritual branch of Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine in Fukuoka Prefecture.
Substantial part of its front garden is a pond with many bridges, and wisterias are planted along it so that their flowers would bloom over the pond. There are some 200 trees of wisterias at present, which flowers from around late April to early May.
It's a 15-minute walk from Kameido Station of the JR Sobu Line or the Tobu Kameido Line.
Wisterias are leafless in winter, so you can observe the structure of the precincts well. It's pretty interesting, though the bridges are rebuilt in concrete.
There are three bridges along the front approach to the shrine building. It is said that these three bridges represents the life of a person. The first bridge is called Otokobashi, literally meaning "men's bridge," and it represents the past.
The next and second bridge you can see from here is called Hirabashi. It represents the present.
The last bridge in front of the shrine building is Onnabashi, or Women's Bridge, which represents the future. As you cross these three bridges and approach the Shaden, or the shrine building, your mind get purified, they say.
The Shaden is a post-war reconstruction made in concrete.
Kaguraden is the stage where music and dance are offered at festivals.
When wisterias in the shrine precincts bloom from late April to early May, a festival called the Fuji-matsuri (Wisteria Festival) is held. During this event, flowers are illuminated at night. See the article on the Fuji-matsuri at Kameido Tenjin Shrine for details.
The Reitaisai, or the Annual Grand Festival, of Kameido Shrine is held in late August. It is fully conducted every four years, and in those years, the horen (a kind of portable shrine) towed by a bull parades through the town area the shrine guards.
At the Reitaisai two years after a fully-conducted year, the shrine's mikoshi (also a kind of portable shrine) parades through the town area the shrine guards (so this event is also held every four years).
There is a chrysanthemum exhibition in November, though not so large.