Japan Tokyo Akihabara

Yushima Seido

A historic Confucian temple in Tokyo since 1690, with the world’s largest stone statue of Confucius.

Photo of Yushima Seido, Japan (孔子像 by shikabane taro)

Yushima Seido, or Yushima Temple of Confucius, is a testament to the influence of Confucianism on Japanese education and culture since its establishment in the Edo period. As a National Historic Site, this temple offers both a peaceful atmosphere and a significant historical experience for visitors.

About Yushima Seido

Yushima Seido was founded in the late 17th century and has been influential in shaping intellectual thought in Japan. Initially known as the Shōhei-zaka Gakumonjo, the temple served as a central institution for learning the Hayashi clan’s school of Confucianism, subsequently becoming the ideological foundation of the Tokugawa shogunate. The main hall, Taiseiden, was relocated to its current position in 1691, and the temple grounds once included Shōheikō, the prominent state-sponsored academy of the Edo period.

Despite experiencing destruction through fires in its early years, Yushima Seido maintained its significance. The current structure, completed in 1935 and designed by architect Itō Chūta, reflects the temple’s historical stature with its striking black exterior and grand main hall. The interiors, particularly the treasure room open on weekends and holidays, house a collection of important paintings, statues, and artifacts, including a statue of Confucius with four disciples.

The temple continues to be associated with education, with students visiting to pray for examination success. The grounds feature the world’s largest stone statue of Confucius, a gift from the Lions Club of Taiwan in 1975. The gardens, with stone walls and kai trees, lead to this notable statue.

For visitors, the distinctive black façade and the peaceful grounds are highlights. The artifacts in the treasure room provide insight into the Confucian influence in Japan. The temple’s historical connections include links to the origins of Tokyo University and Ochanomizu University.

While Yushima Seido remains a place of worship and a symbol of Confucian traditions, it is also a tranquil retreat in Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward, not far from the vibrant neighborhood of Akihabara.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Yushima Seido

C 12

 Chiyoda Line

 about 5 minute walk (400m)
M 20

 Marunouchi Line

 5-10 minute walk (500m)
G 14

 Ginza Line

 5-10 minute walk (700m)

Around Yushima Seido

Yushima Seido

Shinto Shrine in Tokyo

open 9:30am - 5pm
closed Irregularly


湯島聖堂, 東京

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Updated 13 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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