Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto

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  • Kitano Tenmangu Shrine Torii

  • Entrance Torii Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Pathway To Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Cow Statue Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Bull Statue Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Romon Gate Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Golden Lantern Romon Gate Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Main Shrine Kitano Tenmangu In Kyoto

  • Sankomon Gate Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Sankomon Gate Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Honden (Main Hall) Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Honden (Main Hall) Roof Detail Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Lantern Main Hall Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Lantern Main Hall Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Honden (Main Hall) Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Honden (Main Hall) Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Honden (Main Hall) Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Chishusha Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Map Of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Odoi Area Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Red Bridge Odoi Area Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

  • Odoi Area Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

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Facts & Figures

The beautiful Shinto shrine Kitano Tenmangu in the northwest of Kyoto is dedicated to the politician, poet and scholar Sugawara no Michizane (845 - 903). All over Japan there are appr. 12000 shrines to honour Sugawara no Michizane, but Kitano Tenmangu is the main shrine. Kitano Tenmangu is one of the oldest and most important sancutaries in Kyoto. Best Ryokans in Kyoto Explore Ryokans in Kyoto >
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Many students visit the shrine to pray for success in examinations, because Sugawara no Michizane, also called Tenjin, is their patron saint. What makes this place especially beautiful in spring are the over 2000 plum (ume) trees, which bloom from February till March. Interesting to know that Sugawara no Michizane admired the beauty of plum trees. During autumn (November - Dec) you will witness the changing colours of maple leafs in the garden of the temple. Do not miss the illumination of the 250 maple trees at night.

  • Kitano Tenmangu:
  • Opening Hours - 5:00 am to 6:00 pm (April till September)
  • Opening Hours - 5:30 am to 5:30 pm (October till March)
  • Closed - never, open the whole year
  • Admission Fee - free

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Kitano Tenmangu Shrine was built in 947 to conciliate the spirit of Sugawara no Michizane (845 - 903). Michizane had been exiled for many years in Dazaifu, Kyushu. Never before in Japanese history was a real person enshrined as a deity (god of academics). In 1607 the main shrine was built by Toyotomi Hideyori (1593 - 1615), son of daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The Sanko-mon and Ro-mon Gate were also constructed during that time. The architecural style of the Momoyama period (1574 - 1600) with its golden decoration is really unique.


Map of Japan

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is located within the Kamigyo Ward in Kyoto.
Address: Bakuro-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-8386

How to get to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine?

  • 30min from Kyoto Station to Kitano Tenmangu by bus nr. 50 and 101

Sightseeing spots


Main Shrine - The building, where the deity is enshrined, is designated as a National Treasure by the Japanese government. The architecural style is called yatsumune-zukuri (multi-building construction).

Sanko-mon and Ro-mon Gate - Enjoy the golden decorations, the amazing craftmanship and details of these gates.

Kitano Tenmangu plum tree garden (Bai-en) - The garden is open for the public during the blossom season (February till March).

Festival & Events in Kyoto (dates can change without notice)

every month

Tenjin-san - Flea Market at Kitano Tenmangu temple grounds (25th)
The very popular flea market offers a huge variety of products like kimono fabrics, silver jewelry, antiques, plants and much more. Enjoy the atmosphere and the good food there. The place is open from 6:00 am till 9:00 pm.


Plum Blossom Festival at Kitano Tenmangu temple grounds (25th)
This festival is held for over 900 years to remember the death of Sugawara no Michizane. Enjoy the open air tea ceremony presented by maiko and geiko from the nearby Kamishichiken geisha district.


Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).


Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.


Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).


Kitano Matsuri (4th)
It is amazing that this traditional festival started in 987.


Zuiki Matsuri (1st till 5th)
The five day long festival has a history of over 1000 years. The famous procession of portable floats (omikoshi) starts at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine on the first day. The reason for the festival is to say thank you to the Kitano Tenmangu deity for a successful harvest.

Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

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