Yushima Seido Temple – Unkempt Confucianism in Tokyo
Yushima Seido is a nice change of pace from ordinary city life. Dedicated to Confucius and charmingly dilapidated, it is well worth a visit.
Yushima Seido is a Confucian Temple on the east side of Tokyo. Set in pleasant, peaceful grounds, the temple makes for a nice change of pace from nearby Akihabara and the city as a whole. With many nice features, a visit at any time of the year comes highly recommended.
Yushima Seido Overview
Originally constructed in 1630, the fifth Tokugawa shogun, Tsunayoshi, moved the building to its present site in 1690. Since its establishment, the temple has been put to many uses by various sources including the Ministry of Education, the Tokyo National Museum and Ochanomizu University.
Before entering the temple, you may be surprised by its somewhat unkempt appearance, but go through the Gyohkoh-mon gate and up the stone path and you’ll soon discover the former glory of this location. Chief among the temple’s highlights is the bronze statue of Confucius, the largest in the world. One of the stated aims of the temple today is to stress the positive influence of Confucianism, as well as China more generally, on the culture and society of Japan.
Head to the main building, the Taiseidan, for a welcome taste of sectarian asceticism. For 200 yen you can enter the main hall where the dark blacks and reds combine to convey a palpable sense of somber divinity. The simplicity of the temple, combined with the charmingly overgrown nature of the surrounding grounds, make for an overall unique experience.
Address: 1-4-25 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: +81 03 3251 4606
Getting to Yushima Seido
A 2-minute walk from Ochanomizu Station on the Marunouchi Line.
Alternatively, take the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line and alight at Shin-Ochanomizu Station.
Duration Of Visit
1 hour is enough.
Open all year, 9am – 5pm