Tokyobling's Blog

Yushima Seido – Ochanomizu

Posted in Places by tokyobling on February 24, 2015

Yushima Seido is possibly the most simultaneously most impressive and least talked about temple in Tokyo. Not only is it one of very few confucian temples in the city, it is also wonderfully un-photogenic. I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that there is no other historic building in Tokyo that is so impossible to photograph well, with its pitch black walls and wide overhanging roof. If you really need a challenge as a photographer there is no better place in Tokyo!

Originally founded in Ueno in 1630, the temple was moved here in 1690 it was the main school/training center for government officials until it was closed in 1871 as the functions were taken over by many other schools, universities and government agencies. Today the grounds occupied by the temple itself is much smaller than they were originally. The very similarly named Yushima Tenjin nearby is also related to this temple and still to this day these two places are were people go for pray for success in their studies, exams or academic careers.

On the temple grounds you will also find the 1975 statue of Confucius which is claimed to be the biggest of its kind in the world.

The Yushima Seido is easily reached from the Ochanomizu stations and lies just a stones throw from the far more famous Kanda Myojin.















8 Responses

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  1. yoooya said, on February 24, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Looks like a very impressing temple. I’m definitely going to check it out when I visit Tokyo in July!


  2. Jonelle Patrick said, on February 25, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Ahaha, naturally you managed to make this place look beautiful – a nearly impossible task! I took about a hundred pictures there one day, and ended up with three. Of the gargoyles. (笑)


    • tokyobling said, on February 26, 2015 at 6:35 am

      Hahaha… My photos are terrible compare to how cool this place looks in real life. Yeah, the gargoyles are the easiest ones to get. I think they are called tomebuta (留蓋) in Japanese but not sure. Someone probably does!


  3. JUURI said, on March 2, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    I love the circular windows… hopefully one day I’ll have one in my house! 😉 I like the tiger too. He looks a bit weary with his duty, what a hapless fellow. Indeed this temple has a different feel because of the Confucian aspect. Super interesting. I think my mom used to live near Ochanomizu. I like the area.


    • tokyobling said, on March 3, 2015 at 7:55 am

      Circular windows! That is another victim of modernization! I totally agree.


  4. rudyhou said, on March 11, 2015 at 8:37 am

    the whole ‘black’ look gives the temple a sense of forbidden and evil. kinda like ‘death’.


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