About Yushima Seidō
Yushima Seidō, also known as “Tokyo Confucian Temple”, is located in Yushima 1-chome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, and was built by Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the 5th shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate during the Genroku period. When it was built, it was called a Confucian temple and is currently designated as a historical site in Japan.
Yushima Seidō was formerly known as the Confucius Temple built by Hayashi Rosan, a Confucian scholar of the Edo Shogunate, at Ueno Shinobigaoka, which was relocated to this site by Tokugawa Netsuyoshi in 1690. Daisei-den and the surrounding buildings were collectively known as the sanctuary, and later became the Shoheisaka Institute of Learning, which was directly under the shogunate, and nurtured many talented people for Japan. Taisei-den suffered many fires, and the present building was rebuilt in 1935 as a steel structure after being burned down in the Great Kanto Earthquake. There is a statue of Confucius on the shrine in the center of Daisei-den, and the four sages, Mencius, Yanzi, Zengzi, and Zisi, are worshipped to the left and right. The Xingtan Gate is on the opposite side of the Dacheng Hall. Xingtan refers to the site of the Confucius Professor Hall in Qufu, Shandong Province, which is named after the apricot trees that were planted around the rostrum where Confucius lectured. Iritoku-mon was built in 1704, and is the only one of Yushima’s sanctuaries to have survived the fire caused by the Great Kanto Earthquake.
Every year during the midterm and high school entrance exams, many students and their parents visit Yushima Seidō and Yushima Tenmangu Shrine, which is further to the north, to ask for an autograph and make a wish to get into the school of their choice. Special test pencils are also sold here to help students stabilize their mood during the exams.
How to get there
1-4-25 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0034, Japan
Access：2 minutes on foot from Tokyo Metro Ochanomizu Station (JR Ochanomizu Station)
We visited on foot from Ochanomizu Station, and it took us about 5 minutes to get there on foot. Note that I don’t think there was any information on the station signboard, etc., and that it is surprisingly easy to miss. If you can find it, the wall is visible from the Chuo Line.
You can see it for free except inside the Taiseiden on weekends and holidays. In Japan, shrines are all over the place, but this kind of Chinese building is a little fresh and interesting, though not necessarily lacking. Inside, we could only get a closer look, but we paid 200 yen to see it as a donation as well.
The statue of Confucius, located a short distance away from the Confucius Temple, is also magnificent and worth seeing. It is close to Ochanomizu Station, and there are people who pray there for academic purposes, so if you are in the Ochanomizu area, it is worth a stop.