Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Walk around Yushima Tenmangu and Yushima Shinjo-in / 湯島天満宮と湯島心城院の散歩

Last Saturday it was such a nice day that I had to go out for a walk.  I decided to head out to Yushima Tenmangu (commonly known as Yushima Tenjin) in Yushima.  The shrine is known for housing the God of Learning so its usually crowded with students.  But as it is not exam season, it was not crowded. 


There are many different entrances to Yushima Tenjin.  I decided to enter from the Fufu-zaka (Spouse Hill) even though I was on my own today.


Sasazuka Inari Jinja / 笹塚稲荷神社
Togakushi Jinja / 戸隠神社
Yushima Tenmangu (Hondo) / 湯島天満宮 (本堂)
Yushima Tenjin Temizusha / 湯島天神手水舎

Guy checking out the various ema / ひとりの男が絵馬を読んでる

Did you notice this pigeon resting on the lamp? / 鳩が灯篭の上で休んえる気づいた?

The pictures above are panels on the Yushima Tenmangu Museum building.  Cool detailed art.

Of course I had to collect my temple seal as well.


 Otoko-zaka / 男坂
As I walked down these stairs, I came across a very small temple.  It was so cute I had to take a closer look.  It was Yushima Shinjo-in. 

Yushima Shinjo-in / 湯島心城院
I love this little miniature garden.

Not a real turtle / 本物の亀ではない
Kame no Ko Bashi / かめの子ばし
Real turtles / 本物の亀
Turtles on the bridge / 橋の上にいる亀たち
The nice weather was holding up, so I decided to go to Nezu which was just one station away.  But I will save that for another post.

A Walk around Kameido Tenjinja / 亀戸天神社の散歩

After hanging relaxing at [Fermier], the specialty cheese shop and going to Atago Jinja and Tsukiji, the following day, the wife and I, along with another friend decided to go to Kameido Tenjinja in Kameido.  But before heading off to the shrine, we decided to grab a quick snack at Kameido Gyoza.  What makes this place special is that their menu features only one food item - that would of course be gyoza.  And you would be amazed that there is a line in front of the store for people waiting to eat just gyoza (and having a beer to two as well of course).


Tour guide map of Kameido / 亀戸観光イラストマップ
Kameido Gyoza / 亀戸餃子

The shop's noren / 店ののれん

5 pieces for only 250yen.  I had three plates!  Mikako and Yukio had two.


Next, its off to our main event - Kameido Tenjinja.

次はメインの目的地 - 亀戸天神社。

Torii leading to the shrine / 亀戸天神社の鳥居
We picked a great time to go to this shrine.  The shrine was having a wisteria festival.  Beautiful wisteria on lots of trellises.

 Yes, that would be the Tokyo Sky Tree in the background.


If you literally translate Kameido, it means "turtle well".  And check out all those turtles.

Nice looking bird.  I don't know if its a crane or a heron or what but it was but awesome.

More turtles / また亀たちが
 Tokyo Sky Tree / 東京スカイツリー

Onna-bashi / 女橋
You usually see a dragon at the temizuya (place to wash your hands before paying respects at the main shrine), Kameido Tenjina has a turtle.
Kameido Tenjinja (Hondo) / 亀戸天神社 (本堂)
Japanese scholar Kanko (Sugawara no Michizane) at 5 years old
The Wisteria Festival featured some traditional plays as well as many food booths.  It was just a nice relaxing afternoon to hang out at a shrine.

Kameido Tenjinja and Tokyo Sky Tree / 亀戸天神社と東京スカイツリー
Mitake Jinja / 御獄神社
Food Booth Area / 屋台
There are quite yummy - ayu (sweetfish in English).  So we ate one.
Before / ビフォー
After / アフター

Otoko-bashi / 男橋
More wisteria / 藤がまだいっぱい咲いてますよ
Hanazono-sha / 花園社
Same tree as above, different camera / 上にあった写真と同じ木、別のカメラ
And I shall leave you with a few more pictures of the Otoko-bashi as we leave the shrine and head towards Kinshicho.


Yes, that is yours truly standing at the top of the bridge.
And I almost forgot - my new hobby.  Collecting temple seals. 
忘れるところでした。最近はまってる趣味 - 御朱印の集まり。


Although I had a great time here, the rest of the afternoon was spent at a small, smoky and very crowded izakaya with a bunch of middle aged guys betting on horses.  But I can't complain too much.  The food was good, tried the red Hoppy (I didn't even know there was a red Hoppy) and called it a day after the main race was over.
神社にお参りして、藤まつりも堪能したあとは友達の付き合いで錦糸町へ。なにがあると言えば、競馬ですよ。メインのレースわすましたが、友達はハズレの連発。僕は馬になみもかけてないで、だた飲んだたけ。競馬場で走る馬見るのは興味あるけど、オッサンばっかの煙ってる居酒屋はもう勘弁だ。 ま、料理は美味しかったし、初めて赤ホッピーがあるのも発見。もちろん赤ホッピーを注文!

Cheers, until my next adventure.