In 2017 I went to Yushima Tenjin Shrine for its plum blossom festival. Do you know it? It’s on the north side of Tokyo, near Ueno. If you want photos of these flowers in an urban setting, it’s a terrific place to go.
On most days, people visit it to pray to its two gods. One is Ameno-Tajikaraono-Mikoto, whose heavenly portfolio is sport and power. The other is Tenjin, who is all about learning and study.
Tenjin is the more popular of the two. As getting into a good university is important in Japan, many people ask him for a favor when taking exams. Japanese do this by using writing their requests on “ema.” Ema are little wooden plaques. You tie it to a rack, which is a symbolic tree.
Yushima Tenjin overflows with them at exam times. They will all have the kanji 合格 (gōkaku). Gōkaku means to succeed or pass exams. But whether he reads them or not is another thing, though!
Well, I wasn’t there for prayers. I was there for photographs. For my visit in 2017, the weather was fantastic. The sky was cloudless and deep blue. And with that, crowds came. The flowers looked superb.
For other plum blossom spots in Tokyo, check out Koishikawa Korakuen. Setagaya ward’s Hanegi park is also good. You’ll find many good places around.
One last thing. As you might know, I use a Fujifilm X-T3 camera. But, when I took these photos, I didn’t. At that time I used a Pentax K-3. Talk about different! Both systems are good, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Anyway, I don’t regret making the move, but occasionally nostalgia does pull at my heart!
If you have questions or comments, leave them down below. And have you visited Yushima Tenjin for this festival? Please let us know what you think of it.
For more flower festival articles, try these:
- Hydrangeas at Myohoji in 2017
- Plum Blossoms at Yushima Tenjin in 2022
- Cherry Blossoms at Aoyama Cemetery in 2017
Any questions or comments can be left below.