Japanese Wisteria and Azalea Festivals in Tokyo, Kameido Tenjin Shrine and Nezu Shrine


We visited the wisteria festival at the Tokyo Kameido Tenjinsha shrine and the Japanese azalea festival in Nezu shrine.

We arrived in Tokyo and Narita on Sunday morning by Vietjet Air from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

We will be in Japan for ten days this time, and during our time in Tokyo, we visited Kameido Tenjinja Shrine, which is said to have the best wisteria flowers in Tokyo, and the Japanese azalea festival in Nezu shrine.

About Kameido Tenjinja Shrine

The main shrine seen from the approach to the shrine

This Shinto shrine in Koto-ku, Tokyo, is dedicated to Sugawara Michizane. In the past, the shrine was also known as Tozaifu Tenmangu Shrine or Kameido Zaifu Tenmangu Shrine, as opposed to the head shrine, Kyushu Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine.

Torii gate of Kameido Tenmangu Shrine

After passing through the torii gate, there is the Shinji Pond with two drum bridges over it.

A drum bridge

Cross the two drum bridges and go straight ahead to reach the main shrine.

Main shrine

Omikuji and amulets are sold next to the main hall.

Omikuji and amulet sales area

The main shrine and Sky Tree can be seen from the precincts of the temple at the same time.

Sky Tree and the main shrine
Red Plum Hall

Wisteria trellises are set up around the Shinji Pond, which attracts many people in spring when the drooping wisteria flowers bloom.

Wisteria Festival at Kameido Tenjinja Shrine

Wisteria trellises around the Shinji Pond

Around 50 wisteria plants are planted in the grounds of the shrine, which are at their best from mid-April to May each year. During this period, the Wisteria Festival is held and the wisteria trellises are lit up at night.

This year (2023), the wisteria festival started on Saturday 15 April. We visited on 17 April. It was a little early for all the wisteria to be in full bloom, but the early wisteria were stunning.

We visited the wisteria festival at Kameido Tenjinja Shrine

We went to the wisteria festival at Kameido Tenjinja Shrine. Even though it was around midday on a Monday, many people were there. It is probably more crowded in the evening when it is lit up and on Saturdays and Sundays.

Lots of people visit
Beautiful azaleas

Access to Kameido Tenjinja Shrine

Kameido Tenjinja Shrine

It takes about 15 minutes on foot from the north exit of Kameido Station on the JR Chuo Sobu Line. This time I went with my parents-in-law, so we took a bus from in front of the station. Take the Metropolitan Bus and get off at Kameido Tenjin-mae.

We also visited the Nezu Shrine’s azalea festival

Poster for the Nezu Shrine azalea festival

The Nezu Shrine in Bunkyo Ward was holding the Tsutsuji Festival at this time of year. The poster for it was posted at Kameido Tenjinja Shrine, so we decided to go there the same day.

Torii gate of Nezu Shrine

As soon as you pass through the torii gate, azaleas can be seen on the left. The azalea garden is said to have 3,000 azalea plants of more than 100 varieties.

Tsutsuji (Japanese azalea) Garden

You need to pay 300 yen to enter the azalea garden (cash only), but you could also enjoy the splendour of the azaleas without entering.

Tower gate

However, the azalea garden is located on the west side of the grounds, and the western sun backlit the garden in the evening when we visited, making it difficult to take good photographs. It is best to visit in the morning!

Karamon Gate

Next to the azalea garden is the tower gate, and behind it is the Karamon gate. There were many worshippers queuing up to visit the shrine inside.

Shrine pavilions

The Tsutsuji Festival is held from 1 to 30 April, but the best time to see the azalea flowers is from mid to late April. As there are many varieties, visitors can enjoy the changing azaleas from early to late bloomers during the festival.