Ueno Onshi Park -Cherry blossom viewing spot- / 上野恩賜公園 /
Ueno Onshi Park is one of Tokyo's most popular cherry blossoms viewing spots. The central pathway of Ueno Onshi Park is lined with I.200 cherry trees. More than 2 million people visit here in the cherry blossoms viewing season, during late March to early April.
Ueno Onshi Park is also famous for many museums on its grounds.
Tokyo National Museum / 東京国立博物館
Tokyo National Museum is the oldest and the largest among all museums in Japan. The collection comprises approximately 114,000 items, including 87 National Treasures and 633 Important Cultural Properties.
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum / 東京都美術館
National Museum of Nature and Science / 国立科学博物館
National Museum of Western Art / 国立西洋美術館
Yushima Tenjin Shrine / 湯島天神
The faith of Goryo / 御霊信仰
In the Heian period, there were many political struggles and it began to be feared that the spirits of those who lost their lives due to false charges or political conspiracies would haunt and bring evil to the Imperial Court and society. There vengeful spirits were called “ Goryo / 御霊 “ in awe.
The most famous case was “ Michizane SUGAWARA / 菅原道真 “. He was the second most powerful minister in the Imperial Court, Minister of the Right / 右大臣, but, due to a political conspiracy, he was exiled to ” Dazaifu / 大宰府 “ in northern Kyushu and died there in 903. After his death, various disasters happened, such as a fire in the Imperial Court building caused by lighting. Those events were believed to be the revenge by the spirit of Michizane SUGAWARA. The Imperial Court therefore tried to pacify his spirit and a shinto shrine was established for him in “ Dazaifu Tenmangu / 大宰府天満宮 / http://dazaifutenmangu.or.jp/ “, and later another shrine was built in Kyoto “ Kitano Tenmangu / 北野天満宮 / http://kitanotenmangu.or.jp/ “. Faith in his spirit became fused with that in thunder and he was given the name “ Tenjin / 天神 “, literally meaning “ heavenly kami “.
In Tokyo area, it is said that there are 30 Tenjin shrines, which enshrine Michizane SUGAWARA. Among them, in particular the famous shrine is this Yushima Tenjin Shrine / 湯島天神.