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Entrance to Yushima Tenjin Shrine (also called Yushima Tenmangu) flanked by plum blossoms on the right.
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Founded in the 14th century, Yushima Tenjin Shrine is famous for plum blossoms and its dedication to Sugawara Michizane, the god of learning and scholarship.
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Ume Matsuri banners decorate the street leading to Yushima Tenjin.
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Behind the main shrine are weeping plum blossoms.
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Ema prayer tablets are accented by plum blossoms.
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Yushima Tenjin Shrine's plum blossom grove was in full bloom in early March.
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Yushima Tenjin also has a small Japanese-style garden with plum blossoms.
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The public was not allowed to enter the garden.
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This is where they hold the open-air tea ceremony.
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The roof ends of the shrine has a plum blossom motif.
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Bonsai plum blossoms in the shrine.
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Onna-zaka slope is lined with ume as well.
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Onna-zaka slope and plum blossoms at Yushima Tenjin.
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Otoko-zaka steps lined with ume plum blossoms at Yushima Tenjin.
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In the old days, geisha often walked up and down these Otoko-zaka steps.
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Otoko-zaka steps.
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Otoko-zaka
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Rabbit design of ema prayer tablet.
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Free soba tea.
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This is the stage where entertainment was held on the weekends during the ume matsuri.
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The entertainment started at noon with a festival music group entering through the spectator seats.
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The entertainment started with hayashi festival music played by the Yushima Hayashi-ren troupe. 湯島はやし連
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After the end of their performance, they threw small envelopes containing small charms to the audience.
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What they threw to the audience.
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Video of all the performers at the Yushima Tenjin Plum Blossom Festival on March 5, 2011.
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Next were these enticing belly dancers from the Komatsu Buyodan. 小松舞踊団 ベリーダンス
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Belly dancer at Yushima Tenjin Plum Blossom Festival. Tokyo.
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Belly dancer at Yushima Tenjin Plum Blossom Festival. Tokyo.
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Belly dancer at Yushima Tenjin Plum Blossom Festival. Tokyo.
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Belly dancer at Yushima Tenjin Plum Blossom Festival, Tokyo.
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They were great.
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Must-see video of the belly dancers at Yushima Tenjin Shrine's Plum Blossom Festival on March 5, 2011.
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Video of belly dancers at the Yushima Tenjin plum blossom festival on Feb. 22, 2014. They are the Haruna Aki & Arabina troupe. 春奈あき&アラビーナのベリーダンス。
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Nihon buyo dancers from Odori no Kukan. 日本舞踊 おどりの空間
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More hayashi festival music, this time by the Ueno Hayashi Hozonkai. 上野囃子保存会
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Performance by Daikokuten, one of the seven gods of good fortune. He carries a wealth-pounding mallet. He pounds many treasures on his fan and disperses it to all.
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Shishi-mai lion dance
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This shishi-mai lion dance is performed by a high school girl.
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More Nihon buyo dancers. 笹乃梅沙社中
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Tsugaru shamisen players led by Waguri Goro. 和栗五郎社中
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Great sound and performance which woke up the audience.
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They didn't introduce each player so we don't know who this foreigner is. But he was good.
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Kayokyoku singer Sakuragi Rika. 歌謡曲:桜木里佳
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She sang a Misora Hibari song.
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Hula dancers from Waianuenue Hula Studio. ワイアーヌエヌエ・フラスタジオ
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Hula dancers from Waianuenue Hula Studio. ワイアーヌエヌエ・フラスタジオ
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Shiraume Taiko women drummers climaxed the 4-hour show. They are based at Yushima Tenjin Shrine. 白梅太鼓
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You have to see the video of these fantastic women taiko drummers on March 5, 2011.
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Another video of these women taiko drummers at the Yushima Tenjin plum blossom festival on Feb. 22, 2014.
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I once saw Shiraume Taiko perform on a truck in Nihonbashi.
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Yushima Tenjin Ume Matsuri poster.
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At the foot of the Otoko-zaka steps is this Yushima Shoden temple, a Tendai Buddhist temple. Also called Shinjo-in. 心城院 (湯島聖天)
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Yushima Shoden temple is noted for this Yanagi well whose water supposed to make women's hair beautiful. The Shiraume taiko drummers always wet their hair from this well. 柳の井戸 柳井堂 (りゅうせいどう)
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