Tokyo in Pics


A photography blog about Tokyo, run by Australian photographer Rohan Gillett

The Doors of Yushima Seido

Yushima Seido is a temple that was built in 1630, in Ueno.  The fifth shogun, Tsunayoshi, moved it to its current location in 1690.  Compared to many of Tokyo’s temples, it is quite different in that it is Confucian and the grounds around it are rather overgrown.  Formerly a state-run school, it is now visited by many modern-day students who now come to place ema (votive tablets) in the hope of passing exams.  It is a beautiful place, with some amazing doors.

The main doors of Yushima Seido

Originally painted vermillion, it was later repainted black in the belief that doing so would make it fireproof.  Unfortunately that line of thinking was flawed, as was found out during several other big fires. Pity.

Yushima Seido isn’t as famous as other temples in Tokyo, but it does have something the amazing doors.  The paintwork has faded a little, but it still looks amazing. Black is a cool colour. The woodwork is amazing as is the metalwork that is on some of them.

I’ve never photographed doors before, and I found it quite difficult.  Trying to get doors in a picture the with everything correctly aligned was extremely difficult.  It was a matter of taking a photo, or several, then checking everything in the camera’s viewfinder.  The process was very frustrating, as I could only get things close, but not perfect. In fact, even using the Transform window in Lightroom it was impossible, but at least I was able to get things pretty much how I wanted.

Yushima Seido is just a few minutes walk from Ochanomizu.  Very close to it, you’ll also find one of the world’s largest statues of Confucius.  It’s an interesting place, that doesn’t attract many visitors during the week. On Saturdays and Sundays the doors to the temple are open to the public and can be entered for a small fee.  You can see its website here.

Gear used for these pictures:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T2

Lenses - Fujifilm XF 10 - 24 mm f/4.0 R OIS Lens

 Fujifilm XF 16 - 55 mm f/2.8 R LM WR Lens