KYO: Nishiki Temmangu Shrine

Nishiki Temmangu Shrine

I am not able to count how many times I have visited here. This shrine is located in the city center of Kyoto where many people enjoy shopping. It is a sacred area in downtown area of Kyoto. As you might have guessed, this is also a Temmangu shrine, so Sugawara-no Michizane is enshrined. When you walk to the east on the Nishiki street, the shrine stands on the edge of that street where the Nishiki and the Shin-Kyogoku street meets. The times I visited there were mostly in the evening to the night. (Usually, when I visit shrines, I try to be there before 15:00pm.) It is a very small shrine, and for me, it is very close to my heart (accessible) for me. Again, I like Temmangu shrines, so it is very nice for me to face Sugawara-no Michizane whenever I can. As usual, I purify myself before I pray at a small pavilion (washing hands and mouth), move to the main building. Unlike others, this shrine is very light-filled, and I believe it can be said “it is opening to everybody anytime”. As usual, once again, I thank to the god, and wander further into the shrine. There are some small shrines. One of them for the god of an easy delivery, and another is for the god of business success. Back to the main building, and there is a small machine which plays a traditional music when people come closer. It is a machine for Omikuji, a paper fortune. I have never tried this, but if this is the only shrine during your stay in Japan, why don’t you try once? Anyway, on the way back, I taste the pure water, which is one of the purest water in Kyoto, and stroke the cow who is the messenger of the god in Temmangu shrine as usual. I feel happy a Temmangu shrine is there, and I will surely visit every time I walk around downtown of Kyoto.

In 1003, the former house of Sugawara family called “Sugawara-In” (Now, it is Sugawara-in Temmangu Shrine located in Marutamachi area.) was moved to “Rokujo Kawara-in” (It is now around Higashi Honganji Temple.) and it became a temple called Kanki-dera Temple. To protect that temple, they made a shrine where Sugawara-no Michizane was enshrined. It was the beginning of this Nishiki Temmangu shrine. In 1573-92, when Hideyoshi Toyotomi ruled Japan, he moved the temple and the shrine to this area, and from that time, the shrine has been called “Nishiki Temmangu Shrine”. In the Meiji period, the temple transferred to the different place, so only this shrine is located here now.

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When you visit here, I would like to suggest these;
-      To try Omikuji and check your luck
-      To taste the pure water (Many people living around there come to have the water)
-      To see the main Torii gate which stands between the shrine and the Nishiki market
*The Torii gate is unique, because the both ends are dented to the buildings.