Highlights and access methods of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (Kyoto Prefecture)

In this article, we will explain the attractions of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto Prefecture and how to access it for those who are traveling to Japan from overseas.

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine(0)

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(Prefecture : Kyoto , Category : Shrines)

About Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is a famous Shinto shrine located in Kyoto, Japan. Established in 947 AD, it is dedicated to the deity Tenjin, who is the deified spirit of Sugawara no Michizane, a renowned scholar, poet, and politician from the Heian period. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is particularly well-known for its beautiful plum blossoms, which bloom in late February to early March, attracting many visitors during this time. Additionally, the shrine holds a popular flea market on the 25th of each month, offering a variety of goods, food, and antiques.

Highlights of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is a highly attractive destination for foreign tourists, as it is one of the most famous and significant Shinto shrines in Kyoto. It was built in 947 AD to honor the scholar and politician Sugawara no Michizane, who has since been deified as the god of learning, Tenjin. As such, the shrine is popular among students who come to pray for academic success.

The shrine grounds feature stunning architecture, such as the main hall, which is designated as a National Treasure, and the magnificent vermilion-colored Romon Gate. Kitano Tenmangu is also home to a treasure house that displays various historical artifacts and documents related to Sugawara no Michizane.

The shrine is especially renowned for its beautiful plum blossoms, as Michizane was known to have a deep love for them. The best time to visit Kitano Tenmangu for the plum blossoms is in late February to early March when the annual "Baika-sai" (Plum Blossom Festival) takes place. During this event, the shrine grounds are adorned with over 2,000 blossoming plum trees, and visitors can enjoy traditional tea ceremonies conducted by geiko and maiko (apprentice geiko) from the nearby Kamishichiken geisha district.

While Kitano Tenmangu is a must-visit destination during the plum blossom season, it also offers charm and beauty throughout the year, with its serene atmosphere and stunning architecture, making it a delightful and culturally enriching experience for tourists.

Address and access method of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is located at the following address: Bakurocho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, 602-8386, Japan.

The nearest train station to the shrine is Kitano-Hakubaicho Station, which is served by the Randen Kitano Line, also known as the Keifuku Electric Railroad. From Kitano-Hakubaicho Station, it is just a short, approximately 5-minute walk to the shrine.

Another convenient option is to take the Kyoto City Bus to the "Kitano Tenmangu-mae" bus stop, which is situated right in front of the shrine's entrance. Several bus lines, including numbers 50, 101, and 203, connect central Kyoto to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

Attractions near Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Several notable attractions are located near Kitano Tenmangu Shrine:

Kinkaku-ji Temple
This iconic Zen Buddhist temple is famous for its golden exterior and picturesque location by a reflecting pond. The stunning architecture and beautiful gardens make it a must-visit site in Kyoto. It's located about 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles) east of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

Hirano Shrine
Established in 794 AD, this Shinto shrine is known for its lovely cherry blossom trees that bloom in spring, making it a popular spot for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties. It's within walking distance from Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, just about 500 meters (0.3 miles) to the southeast.

Ryoan-ji Temple
Famous for its Zen rock garden, Ryoan-ji is a peaceful and contemplative spot for visitors. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located approximately 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) south of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

Ninnaji Temple
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ninnaji is an impressive temple complex with a rich history dating back to the Heian period. Its beautiful buildings and gardens offer visitors a glimpse into the traditional Japanese temple architecture. Ninnaji is situated around 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) southwest of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

As the oldest geisha district in Kyoto, Kamishichiken offers visitors a chance to experience traditional Japanese entertainment and tea houses. The area is located just a short walk to the northwest of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

These attractions, along with Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, provide a diverse and enriching experience for tourists exploring Kyoto's rich history and culture.

Other information about Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Official site (English version) about Kitano Tenmangu Shrine :


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( Written by Tatsuo Ikura )