Kitano Tenmangu [北野天満宮]
Entrance gate of Kitano Tenmangu
Sankomon gate in front of main shrine
Kitano Tenmangu is a Shinto shrine.
It is located about 6 km north-northwest of Kyoto station.
And, Kinkakuji temple is located about 1.5 km north-northwest of this temple.
This shrine has been enshrined Michizane Sugawara (845-903).
He was an excellent politician and a poet in Kyoto.
But he was fallen for the trick by his political enemy.
He was falsely charged, then he was relegated to current Fukuoka in Kyushu Island in 901.
At that time, Kyushu was a remote island.
And he died in frustration in Kyushu in 903.
After his death, various disasters occured in Kyoto.
So it was rumored that these were the Michizane's curse.
In accordance with an oracle of the God, the government waived his relegation in 923 and built this shrine for him in 947.
It was current Kitano Tenmangu.
Main shrine of Kitano Tenmangu
and praying students
Corridor of Kitano Tenmangu
Current buildings were rebuilt in 1607.
The main shrine is be designated as a national treasure, and the gates and corridors are designated as important cultural properties.
Michizane had literary genius, so he has been worshiped as the god of academic achievements.
There are many universities and colleges in Kyoto.
So, a lot of students taking an entrance exam visit here.
Ume trees in Kitano Tenmangu
Colored leaves in Kitano Tenmangu in autumn
And Michizane loved ume (Japanese apricot) blossoms.
So there are about 1,500 ume trees of around 50 different varieties in the site.
This shrine is a popular spot of ume trees from the middle of January to the middle of March.
Fair is held on the 25th of every month, and many stalls are opened around this shrine.
(Michizane's birthday was June 25th, and the anniversary of his death is February 25th.)
How to get here
Get off at Nijo (●T15 Tozai Line of subway).
Or get off at Nijo station on JR Sagano Line.
Then, about 10 minutes by route bus.
Get off at Kitano-Tenmangu-mae stop.