Yushima Seido and its beautiful shadows

Yushima Seido is a Confucian temple in Tokyo. It’s slightly unusual in that it is black. Black was once thought to grant protection from fire. It wasn’t a good theory because the building burnt down during the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Anyway, I didn’t go to learn of its history; I went for its shadows.

It has lots of those. This is especially true in the afternoon as the main doors face a south-westerly direction allowing the sunlight to enter. The doors, pillars, rooftop sculptures, and trees cast amazing shadows over the buildings and inner courtyard.  Yushima Seido is great for this type of photography.

Until this visit, I had never done a lot of this type of photography. But I enjoyed my time there looking for this article’s pictures. As my time there progressed, the more I found for my camera.

Things to photograph at Yushima Tenjin

  • There are plenty of doors for framing.
  • Ema (votive tablets) on frames and reflect in pools.
  • Mythical animals sit on walls and roofs.  
  • The roofs are fantastic too. All these things make it an excellent place for those who love shadows.

If you want to do some shadow photography, you can’t go wrong with Yushima Seido. It’s easy to photograph as very few worshippers will ever be in your way. And as it is just over the Kanda River from Ochanomizu Station, it is easy to find.

It’s not a major temple in Tokyo, but it is historically significant. It is also home to a huge statue of Confucius. The grounds are open from 9 am to 5 pm.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures. And one last thing, if you are looking for another temple or shrine in the area, you could look at Kanda Myojin. That is an impressive place too, plus it has cherry blossoms in spring.

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