Ume Matsuri at Yushima Tenjin Shrine 2019.03.15
I celebrated Ume blossom by visiting Tokyo Bunkyo’s Yushima Tenjin Shrine Plum Festival. Held between February 8th and March 8th The Bunkyo Ume Matsuri is one of the area’s five flower festivals. It is said that Yushima Tenjin Shrine has been a popular spot for blossom-viewing since the Edo era (1603-1868). During the festival you can enjoy various Japanese events like shamisen-playing or traditional dance performances while eating some delicious stall foods.
Yushima Tenjin Shrine is located near to the Ueno Park, about 10 minutes short walk from there. It was easy to access the Shrine grounds as many Festival pennants were hanging out in Bunkyo area.
Yushima Tenmangu, commonly called Yushima Tenjin is a Shinto shrine established in 458 to worship Ameno-tajikaraono-mikoto, one of deities form Japanese mythology. In 1355, the spirit of Sugawara Michizane (845-903), scholar, poet and politician from Heian Period, was also enshrined here to venerate his virtue as a scholar. Michizane is called in Shinto the Tenman-Tenjin (天満天神) - the god of learning, so the name of the shrine is connected with the Heian scholar.
The shrine buildings was rebuilt in December 1995 according to the Japanese tradition of shrine architecture.
When I reach the Tenjin Shrine grounds I imeddiately noticed with big delight the white and light pink plum flowers. Especially beautifull view was waiting for the visitors in shrine garden with small pond and bridge. Around the garden there were many colourfull food stalls tempting visitors with tasty food smells.
People filling their wishes and prayers at wooden plaques - ema (絵馬) before the main hall of Yushima Tenjin Shrine
Yushima Tenjin Shrine garden
When I was enjoying the views of flowers I noticed a commotion, so I immediately rushed to check out it. It turned out to be a trained monkey performance! It was wearing Japanese clothes an presenting human behaviours like making bows.
I was there around 4 p.m., it wasn't very crowded at this time, so it was easy to enjoy the event.
I recommend to visit the Yushima Tenjin Shrine Ume Festival if you want to see some lovely plum blossoms!
ACCESS TO BUNKYO TENJIN SHRINE
The best way to got there is to take the Tokaido line from Yokohama station, get off at the Ueno station (around 550 yen) and take a walk through the Ueno Park.
Flora Yokohama Hoshikawa: https://www.oakhouse.jp/eng/house/kanagawa/yokohama/flora-hoshikawa
Yushima Tengu Shrine: http://www.yushimatenjin.or.jp/pc/eng-page/english.htm
I am an ordinary girl from small town in far away land of Poland, which tale is rather extraordinary, as no ending curiosity of the world got me to the Japanese Islands.