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November 29, Harajuku
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Kameido Ten Jinja is otherwise known as the Shitamachi no Tenjin-sama – Tokyo’s downtown, old-school Tenjin shrine. Famous for its arched bridge, the grounds are usually abloom with flowers, also earning it the moniker Hana no Tenjin-sama or ‘Tenjin shrine of flowers’. From the end of January until February, the shrine’s Japanese plum trees (ume) come into bloom for the Ume Matsuri (Plum Blossom Festival), and from the middle of April until May is the Fuji Matsuri (Wisteria Festival). The end of October into November sees the start of the Chrysanthemum Festival (Kiku Matsuri). Visitors often come to the shrine to pray for academic success, happy households, safe driving or to take part in rites to ward off evil.