This morning I got up late and I really struggled to leave my house despite the bright sunshine. I must say that outside it was quite cold for the season. But last weekend I promised myself to go admire blooming plum trees in a Shinto shrine that I had previously never visited. This Saturday Yushima Tenman-gu shrine was holding the plum festival and the place was full of people taking pictures of flowers, saying prayers, offering wooden ex-votos marked with a monkey (2016 is the year of the monkey) to succeed at exams, admiring traditional dances or just eating a candy bought at one of the many temporary stalls erected for the occasion. The sanctuary was renovated in 1995 and the buildings are beautiful. A covered walkway connects the two main buildings of the temple, which is a pretty original architectural element for that kind of shrine. During a pleasant walk inside and in the surrounding streets, I took tones of flower pictures for at least a month and then left the place to go toward a coffee to warm up a bit and get away from the crowd.