Hydrangea & cats at Hakusan Shrine

Hakusan Jinja (白山神社) is a shinto shrine in Bunkyo, Tokyo. It is especially popular in early June when it holds its annual Bunkyo Hydrangea Festival (文京あじさいまつり). I was too early for the best viewing but there were still a few flowers (and a lot of cats) when I visited.

Continue reading Hydrangea & cats at Hakusan Shrine


Tokyo walk: Yanaka & Nippori

The Yanaka (谷中) neighbourhood is located between Sendagi and Nippori stations. It is known for its large number of buddhist temples and cemeteries, the biggest of which is the Yanaka cemetery.

Above, golden statue in Zenshoan Temple.

Above, Saikoji Temple.

Above, Zuirinji Temple.

Above, statue of Nichiren.

Above, Daigyoji Temple.

Above, the former Yoshidaya sake shop (annex of the Taito Shitamachi Museum).

Above, central alley of Yanaka cemetery.

Above, the alley in spring. It is lined with cherry trees and is a popular sightseeing place during sakura season (I was a bit too late for that though).

Above, the cemetery in spring, when most of the sakura flowers have fallen down.

Above, Buddha statue in Tennoji Temple, next to Yanaka cemetery and Nippori station.

Above, Tennoji temple in spring.

Above, Nippori JR station.

Above, “Tomato” shop. It actually is a fabric store: The surrounding area is officially known as Fabric Town.

Above, statue in front of Nippori station.

Above, train tracks at Nippori station.

Tokyo walk: Ikebukuro to Gokoku-ji Temple

After eating ramen, I was walking at random and taking pictures in Ikebukuro. Next thing I knew, I was on a pilgrimage through the temples in the area, ending at Gokoku-ji in Bunkyo.

Above, the owl (fukuro in Japanese) is the totem animal of Ikebukuro and Toshima City.

Above, another set of owls…

Above, Shinjoin Temple.

Above, Homyoji Temple.

Above, Kishimojin Temple.

Above, Otori Shrine.

Above, Ebisu, the god of fishermen and luck and one of the 7 Lucky Gods.

Above, stray cat at the shrine.

Above, Toden Arakawa streetcar.

Above, Seiryuin Temple.

Above, Inari shrine in Bunkyo.

Above, cemetery at Gokoku-ji Temple.

Above, gate of Gokoku-ji Temple.

Bunkyo Civic Center

The Bunkyo Civic Center is the government building for Bunkyo City, in Tokyo. Its 25th floor houses a free observatory.

Above, Tokyo Skytree.

Above, roller coaster in Tokyo Dome City. I tried it in my final week in Tokyo: It was my first time on a roller coaster and a truly frightening experience. I screamed like a little girl…

Above, Nippori.

Above, looking towards Shinjuku.

Above, Koishikawa Korakuen Garden.

Above, Tokyo Botanical Garden in autumn.

Above, Ikebukuro.

Above, Koishikawa Korakuen Garden in autumn.

Above, Koishikawa Korakuen Garden at the beginning of spring.

Above, Koishikawa Korakuen Garden later in spring.

Below, the building from different angles.

Yushima Tenmangu Shrine Festival

Yushima Tenmangu (湯島天満宮), also known as Yushima Tenjin (湯島天神), is a shinto shrine in Bunkyo, not far from Ueno Park. It holds its annual festival in May.

Above, ema plaques. The shrine is dedicated to Tenjin, the god of learning, and is popular with students hoping to pass the entrance exam to the nearby University of Tokyo.

Above, Hyottoko.

Above, female taiko drum band.

University of Tokyo (Todai)

The University of Tokyo (東京大学; Tokyo daigaku), often abbreviated as Todai (東大), is the most prestigious university in Japan. Its main campus is in Hongo (Bunkyo). As far as I can tell, although there are guards at the gates, it can be entered pretty much freely.

Above, the Red Gate (赤門; Akamon).

Above, main gate.

Above, clock tower (Yasuda Auditorium).

Above, pond in Ikutokuen garden.

Above, the Daiwa Ubiquitous Computing Research Building (location).