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.

Below, pictures from an earlier spring visit.

Above, the entrance coming from Hakusan station.

Above, Toyo University.

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Tokyo walk: Harajuku & Aoyama

The Harajuku/Aoyama area is a popular shopping and entertainment district in Tokyo. There are also shrines and a lot of high-end residences.

Above, torii of Togo Shrine.

Above, main hall of Togo Shrine. Although it is dedicated to Admiral Togo, it is also a popular wedding place, with a large wedding hall right next to it.

Above, garden of the wedding hall.

Above, entrance of Takeshita Dori.

Above, Roppongi Hills from afar.

Above, embassy of Brazil.

Above, Harajuku Church.

Above, offices of MTV Japan.

Above, in Sendagaya.

Above, NTT Docomo building in Shinjuku.

Above, Harajuku Police Station.

Above, shoe shop in Harajuku.

Above, H&M building in Harajuku.

Above, entrance of Yoyogi Garden.

Above, Yoyogi National Gymnasium.

Above, inside the Kiddyland toy store in Harajuku.

Above, looking back at Omotesando.

Above, Prada store.

Above, Nezu Museum.

Above, Saint-Grace Cathedral. It is a wedding hall, not an actual church.

Above, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, a (relatively) short walk away from Harajuku.

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.

Gojoten Shrine Festival

Gojoten Jinja (五条天神社) is a shinto shrine located inside Ueno Park. It holds its annual festival in May. In 2014, it was at the same time as the Yushima Tenmangu shrine festival: I was walking away from that festival when I saw another mikoshi parade just across Chuo Dori.

Above, priestess on a horse.

Above, taiko drum band.

Below, some pictures of the shrine taken another time.

Above, entrance of Hanazono Inari Shrine and Gojoten Shrine from Ueno Park.

Above, the main building of the shrine.

Above, Gojoten Shrine during sakura season.

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.