I'm back at the matsuri posts today, but we are taking a look at different shrine and festival - the Kameido Tenjin Shrine, also known as Tenmangu, holds it's famous fuji matsuri in late spring every year. Fuji is not in reference to the iconic volcano, fuji means wisteria and the matsuri celebrates the height of their blossom!
Wisteria at Kameido Shrine
The Kameido Shrine was first established in 1662 and is dedicated to the 9th century scholar, poet, and politician named Sugawara no Michizane. Kameido Shrine is famous and well known for several of it's features, but one of the main reasons it has reached a high-level of fame is due to being featured in one of Hiroshige’s 100 views of Edo. The artwork, Wisteria at Kameido Tenjin Shrine, was 65th in the series and done in 1856.
Close up of fuji
Crowd going over Kameido Shrine's drum bridge
Kameido Shrine is also well known for it's large "drum bridge". The drum bridge is not a common feature in modern Tokyo, so it's very fun to be able to encounter it in this shrine. However, during WWII Kameido Shrine was destroyed and rebuilt in metal and cement. Now the drum bridge is not made of wood and has steps for easy climbing.
The other feature Kameido Shrine is famous for, and the whole reason for the matsuri, is fuji. Wisteria is a beautiful hanging flower, and near the end of April/beginning of May it is in full blossom. The shrine's grounds include an extensive pond area over which terraces of fuji are built. Crossing under the fuji is an amazing and beautiful experience.
Walking under the fuji terraces
It's hard to not fall in love with the fuji, but there is so much more to do at the shrine, it's rather difficult to get everything done in just one visit while the matsuri is on. It's also a bit difficult to admire the surroundings when there are so many people crammed in to check it out, as you may have noticed from my photos.
Kameido Tenjin Shrine
Remember this coordinate? Yes, this is me at the fuji matsuri^^
boy it took a long time for the people to clear out of this shot...
I will write more about my personal experience in my next post about the Kameido shrine, as well as include a photo of a gyaru I spotted there. So I hope you will look forward to that!
Take the JR Sobu Line to Kameido Station (South Exit) or Kinshicho Station (North Exit) and walk for 10 to 15 minutes