After The Sakura, Relish The Wisteria At Kameido Tenjinja Shrine

After The Sakura, Relish The Wisteria At Kameido Tenjinja Shrine

Although sakura may be the most well-known flower from Japan, the wisteria is another representative flower of the spring. Today we visit Kameido Tenjinja Shrine in Tokyo, where these flowers grow in abundance.

Spring means sakura (cherry blossoms), and many visitors come from all around the world to enjoy these popular pink flowers. But cherry blossoms have an exceptionally short growth season, lasting only from the end of March to the start of April. Just when you think they will be in bloom, they may already be falling.

"I've come all the way to Japan to see the cherry blossoms, but they're already gone..."
It isn't unusual at all for this to happen.

But don't worry. After the cherry blossoms, from mid-April onward you can see the wisteria flowers (also known as "fuji no hana"). Although not as well-known overseas, these flowers are just as beautiful. In this article we will be introducing an incredible sightseeing spot where you can view these amazing blossoms, right near the ever popular Tokyo SkyTree.

Loved in Japan Since Time Immemorial - Wisteria Flowers

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Photo courtesy of Kameido Tenjinja

Mid-April to the start of May is the best time to enjoy fuji, or wisteria, in Japan. Although not as famous as the cherry blossoms, wisteria are another of the representative flowers of spring in Japan. A long trailing flower that grows over other trees, they can be about 20 to 80 cm in length and have a lovely lavender purple color, their blossoms growing down from their pointed tips. Popularly grown on a fujidana or wisteria trellis, these plants grow and wind about on the cramped spaces remarkably well.

Tokyo's Famous Wisteria Shrine: Kameido Tenjinja

新緑を貫く紫の滝
Photo courtesy of Kameido Tenjinja

藤と太鼓橋
Photo courtesy of Kameido Tenjinja

The Fuji Festival is held at Kameido Tenjinja Shrine, which is located just one station away from Tokyo SkyTree's nearest stop, Oshiage Station. There are over one hundred wisteria plants growing within the shrine grounds that bloom all at once, painting this landscape a stunning purple as far as the eye can see.

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Photo courtesy of Kameido Tenjinja

Throughout this festival, many celebratory events are held and over 100 stalls offer their wares to the throngs of people that come to Kameido Tenjinja. In 2016, this event was held from April 16th through to May 5th, lasting roughly twenty days. If you happen to be in Tokyo at this time this year, why not come see the festivities at this shrine?

Not Only Wisteria, the Lucky Red Bridges of Kameido Tenjinja

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Kameido Tenjinja is not only famous for its wisteria, however.

For instance, if you look beyond the large torii gate, you can see the great red bridge. The sight of the wisteria and pond spreading outward on both sides of this bridge gives a profound air to this spot. There are three bridges suspended throughout the grounds, and it is said that by crossing over each one, your heart will become purified.

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From this bridge you can also enjoy views of Tokyo SkyTree. The sight of the wisteria against the background of this architectural wonder inspires amazing photographs.

Abundant Natural Sights in the Beautiful Grounds

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Kameido Tenjinja also has other natural delights in abundance. Within the grounds, you will find numerous plants growing, koi carps and turtles, and many different types of birds too. Actually, the pond within the grounds is exactly as the name "Kame"ido (turtle) implies - you can see plenty of these pleasant creatures sunbathing here.

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Near the entrance to the shrine, you will find Bekko, a general shop specializing in goods made from turtle shells. Accessories, keychains and other items can be found here. They would make a good souvenir from your trip.

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Pray at the Splendid Main Shrine

Since you have come all the way to Kameido Tenjinja to enjoy the wisteria, it would be a shame to leave without offering a prayer at the main shrine. This grand and elegant shrine is located straight across the bridge. Bring your hands together and offer your prayers in silence. It is said that Kameido Tenjinja is especially receptive to prayers for traffic safety, success in school, easy childbirth, so wishing for one of these is ideal.

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Wisteria - one of Japan's representative flowers. Why not come to Kameido Tenjinja and see these stunning purple blooms for yourself?

Information

Kameido Tenjinja
Address: Tokyo, Koto ward, Kameido 3-6-1
Hours: Open 24 hours
Closed: None
Nearest Station: JR Kameido Station, JR/Tokyo Metro Kinshicho Station
Access: 15-minute walk from Kameido Station or 15-minute walk from North exit of Kinshicho Station
Religion: Shinto
Phone Number: 03-3681-0010
Website: Kameido Tenjinja (Japanese)

Author & Translator

旅行、料理が趣味の20歳です。日本の魅力をお届けします。

Translated by Hilary Keyes

MATCHA

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