Yushima Seido Shrine
One of the most peaceful and simplest shrines in Tokyo just south of the more colorful Kanda Myojin Shrine (which I had blogged about previously) is the Yushima Seido shrine, also in Akihabara, established in 1690 by the Edo government as a place to study Confucianism. It was the first place of higher education in Japan. Unfortunately, all the buildings but the Nyutoku-mon Gate burned to the ground in the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. Near the main gate, you will find a giant 4.57m high bronze statue of Confucius, a gift to the temple in 1975 by the Taipei Lions Club.
To reach the main shrine building, you enter through the Nyutoku-mon Gate (constructed in 1704) and the Kyodan-mon Gate which marks the site of the original academy building.
The big black main building is called the Daiseidan. Everything here is simplicity itself, basically in black, with simple designs in red. The roof of the hall is topped with two cocks at either end, with ravenous-looking tigers hunched and prowling on the roof lower down.