Event: The Winter Lights at Ushijima Shrine 2022

Ushijima Shrine (Sumida, Tokyo) Events
Ushijima Shrine (Sumida, Tokyo)

The events category of our blog will cover limited-time events in the Shitamachi area of Tokyo. This time, we will pick the winter lights at Ushijima Shrine.

Ushijima Shrine is an old Shinto shrine in Sumida Ward of Tokyo. This Shinto shrine is regarded as the guardian god of the former Honjo area (the southern half of present-day Sumida Ward).

The winter lights at Ushijima Shrine started on November 10, 2022. This is the first attempt for Ushijima Shrine and Sumida Ward. And this event will end on February 15, 2023.

We visited the winter lights at Ushijima Shrine the other day. This blog post will share what it was like.

We hope this blog post will help you somewhat when you visit Tokyo for sightseeing. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us through the contact form.

This blog post is also available in Japanese. You can refer to it at the following link:


Ushijima Shrine (Sumida, Tokyo)

Sumida Ward has held the winter lights at Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Mizumachi, and Sumida River Walk for the last few years. This year (2022), Ushijima Shrine has joined them.

The theme of the lights is “The East Tokyo Light Festival: Where Tradition Meets Innovation.”

Sumida Ward is home to Tokyo Skytree, a state-of-the-art radio tower. Besides that, Sumida Ward has also been famous for its traditional crafts since the Edo period. Cutting-edge technology and traditional craftsmanship. You can enjoy the contrast between them through the winter lights.

Event Dates and Time

According to Sumida Ward, the winter light period is as follows:

  • Start Date: November 10, 2022
  • End Date: February 15, 2023

The hours for the lights are from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

A Little Bit About Ushijima Shrine

Ushijima Shrine (Sumida, Tokyo)

Ushijima Shrine is an old Shinto shrine in Sumida Ward of Tokyo. According to this Shinto shrine, Ennin, a Buddhist monk of the Tendai sect, built Ushijima Shrine based on the divine revelation from Susanoo, the storm god, in 860.

Ennin is a high-ranked Buddhist monk who is also known as Jikaku Daishi. According to Sensoji Temple in Taito Ward, he also played important roles in the temple’s revival in the 9th century.

Ushijima Shrine has long been famous for its deep association with cattle. This Shinto shrine has many things related to cattle in the precincts, such as Nadeushi (healing cattle) and Komaushi (guardian cattle).

This Shinto shrine has an unusually shaped Torii gate called Miwa-Torii or Mitsu-Torii. This torii gate is made up of three torii gates: one large torii gate and two smaller torii gates on either side. 

For more information about Ushijima Shrine and Sensoji Temple, please refer to the following blog posts:

Directions (How to Get to Ushijima Shrine)

Ushijima Shrine is located in Sumida Park (Sumida Ward side). Please note that there is another Sumida Park (Taito Ward side) on the other side of the Sumida River.

If you go to Ushijima Shrine from Tokyo Skytree, Koume-Ushijima-Dori Street is convenient. Sumida Park (Sumida Ward site) is about a 7-minute walk from Tokyo-Skytree-Station-North Intersection along Koume-Ushijima-Dori Street.

If you go to Ushijima Shrine from Sensoji Temple, you have two options: Sumida River Walk and the Kototoi-Bashi Bridge. Either one takes about 10 minutes on foot from Sensoji Temple to Ushijima Shrine.

If you opt for Sumida River Walk, leave Sensoji Temple through Nitenmon Gate. Then walk east toward Tokyo Skytree for about 5 minutes. You will arrive at Observatory Square in Sumida Park (Taito Ward site).

Turn right at Observation Square and proceed to Sumida River Walk. After crossing the Sumida River Walk, you will arrive at Sumida Park (Sumida Ward side).

If you opt for the Kototoi-Bashi Bridge, leave Sensoji Temple through the back entrance. Then walk east toward Tokyo Skytree for about 7 minutes. You will arrive at the Kototoi-Bashi Bridge. Ushijima Shrine is on the right after crossing the bridge.

If you want to walk from the Asakusa area to Ushijima Shrine, please also refer to the following blog post:

Our Thoughts

Ushijima Shrine (Sumida, Tokyo)

This time, we went to Ushijima Shrine around 8 p.m. on Saturday. When we arrived at the Shinto shrine, we didn’t see that many people. The winter lights at Ushijima Shrine started this year, so it may not be well known yet.

Ushijima Shrine (Sumida, Tokyo)

As mentioned earlier, the theme of the winter lights is “Tradition Meets Innovation.” Therefore, the winter lights mainly use bamboo, which is a traditional material. We learned this time that this is called Take-Akari (bamboo lights).

The entrance of Ushijima Shrine, the first torii gate, the second torii gate, and the approach. Many Take-Akari lights were producing fantastic atmospheres here and there. Each Take-Akari light was finely designed; it was fun to compare them.

Ushijima Shrine (Sumida, Tokyo)

Before visiting Ushijima Shrine this time, we felt uncomfortable using torii gates for winter lights. But, when we saw the real thing, we were strangely convinced that “we wonder if this is also the 21st century.”

Ushijima Shrine (Sumida, Tokyo)

According to Tobu Railway’s press release, Ushijima Shrine will have workshops to make Take Akari lights on December 3 and 4, 2022. But the time and fee have not been announced yet. We will notify you when we find new information.

Ushijima Shrine (Sumida, Tokyo)

To be honest, we didn’t like going to Sumida Park (Sumida Ward side) at night. This park has a negative reputation because some people use it for inappropriate sexual behavior at midnight.

Of course, Sumida Ward is taking various measures, such as rebuilding facilities in the park. Although it is our guess without reason, the winter lights at Ushijima Shrine could be part of that.

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