Station is located in the
Bunkyo Ward of Tokyo on the Tokyo
Metro Chiyoda Line.
situated in the Kanda-Ochanomizu-Hongo
area, was the educational district
of Tokyo during the Edo period.
The first institute of higher learning
of the city, Yushima Seido, was
opened here by the Edo government
in 1690. Since then, several other
institutes and universities have
been established in the area. Yushima
is also home to several shrines
and temples. The most popular and
well-known shrine of the district
is Yushima Shrine.
Shrine is located just a minute's
walk from Exit 3 of Yushima Station.
Popularly known as Yushima Tenjin,
Yushima is a Shinto shrine originally
established in 458 A.D. to worship
Ameno-tajikaraono-mikoto, a mythical
deity. Later in 1355, the spirit
of the ninth century scholar, Sugawara
Michizane, was also enshrined here.
In 1478, the shrine was rebuilt
by a war lord of Kanto, Oota Dokan,
and ever since, Yushima Shrine has
been known as a shrine of scholars.
Students, not only from Tokyo, but
from all over Japan, come here to
pray for good grades and success
picturesque Yushima Shrine is built
entirely from Japanese cedar in
Shaden style. It is characterized
by huge bundles of wooden tablets,
or ema (petitions to Sugawara's
spirit for success in examinations),
hanging all over the front of the
building. There is an attractive
plum garden in the complex, which
is a treat in spring with its plum
blossoms in full bloom. In February,
Yushima Tenjin celebrates a plum
plum blossom festival at Yushima
Tenjin, locally called Ume
Matsuri , is celebrated
for a full month in February and
March. Since the Edo period, this
month long festival has been very
popular and attracts thousands of
visitors from all over Japan to
view the beautiful plum blossoms.
Festivities include Tenjin
drumming, an outdoor tea ceremony,
and rakugo (traditional
comic story-telling). Several shops
and stalls are set up at the entrance
of the shrine that sell popular
local crafts and foods.
Gardens is the former palatial home
of the founder of the Mitsubishi
Group, Iwasaki Yataro. Located two
minutes' walk from Exit 1 of Yushima
Station, Kyu-Iwasaki Gardens was
designed by British architect Josiah
Conder and completed in 1896. Both
the house and gardens are open to
grounds of Kyu-Iwasaki Gardens has
beautiful lawns and tree groves.
The mansion, considered to be the
best surviving example of European
architecture in Japan from the 19th
century, stands overlooking the
gardens. This is a two-story wooden
house, with fluted columns framing
the entrance porch. The high-ceilinged,
parqueted, and beautifully decorated
rooms inside are very impressive.
The upstairs rooms are designed
with Islamic motifs, while the lower
floor rooms have renaissance motifs.
The stained glass, spiral staircase,
fifteen elaborate stone fireplaces,
and western style toilets used in
the house are said to be the first
to this western-style house, is
a Japanese-style house. This section
has tatami rooms with
seamless paulownia wood ceilings
and fusuma (sliding doors)
painted with seasonal motifs. Nearby
is a billiards house, which is connected
to the main house by an underground
passage. This well preserved house
has been built in the style of a
Swiss mountain cabin.
lived in this mansion till Word
War II, after which he donated his
estate to Japan and went to spend
the rest of his days in the countryside.
The place was first badly abused
by the U.S. military, and then later
by the Japanese Supreme Court. They
knocked down nearly all of the Japanese
section and built a training center
there, which was soon abandoned.
1961, the western house was declared
a cultural asset. The remainder
of the estate followed suit in 1999.
Then in 2001, Tokyo Prefecture took
over the management of the place.
Gardens is well worth a visit, and
an opportunity to learn about the
lifestyle of the Japanese elite
of the Meiji Era.