Heian Jingu Shrine (Jidai Matsuri,location,history)

Heian Jingu Shrine, Jidai Matsuri

The information about Heian Jingu Shrine is presented here. Heian Jingu Shrine has been holding the Jidai Matsuri Festival in October since 1895, and the Jidai Matsuri Festival is one of the three major festivals in Kyoto, along with Aoi Matsuri Festival in May and Gion Matsuri Festival in July. During Jidai Matsuri Festival, a procession of about 2,000 people, about 2 km long, led by Yamaguni-tai playing flutes and drums, starts from the Kyoto Imperial Palace in front of the Kenrei-mon Gate and parades to Heian Jingu Shrine.

【Heian Jingu Shrine Location Map & Directions】

Address: 97 Okazaki Nishi Tenno-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Okazaki Park/Art Museum/Heian Jingu-mae bus stop (about 3 minutes on foot), Okazaki Park/Rome Theater Kyoto/Miyako messe-mae bus stop (about 3 minutes on foot), Keihan Jingu-Marutamachi Station (about 15 minutes on foot), Subway Higashiyama Station (about 10 minutes on foot)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: 6:00-18:00 (varies by season)
Closed: open year round

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】

Individual (Garden): Adults 600 yen, Children 300 yen

【Heian Jingu Shrine History】

It is said that part of the site of Heian Jingu Shrine (平安神宮) was built was part of Sonsho-ji Temple, which was founded in 1102 at the request of the 73rd Emperor Horikawa. In addition to Sonsho-ji Temple, other temples such as Hosho-ji Temple, Saisho-ji Temple, Ensho-ji Temple, Josho-ji Temple, and Ensho-ji Temple were also built on the south side of Heian Shrine, and the area was called “Roku-Shoji (Six Shoji Temple)”, but it was destroyed after the Onin War (1467-1477) in the middle of the Muromachi period. After the Onin War (1467-1477), Roku-shoji was almost completely abandoned. In 1892, the Kyoto City Council approved a proposal by economist Taguchi Ukichi for the construction of Heian Jingu Shrine. In 1895, to commemorate the 1,100th anniversary of the relocation of the capital to Heian-kyo, it was planned to restore a part of the Dai-Dairi built at the time of the relocation of Heian-kyo as the centerpiece of the National Industrial Exposition held in Kyoto. Originally, it was planned that the Suzaku-mon Gate was planned to be located in Senbon Marutamachi, where the Dai-Dairi was built, but the land acquisition failed, and it was decided to restore it in Okazaki, where Heian Jingu Shrine is located today. On September 3rd, 1893, the jichin-sai (groundbreaking ceremony) was held at Heian Jingu Shrine. On March 15th, 1895, Heian Jingu Shrine was built in advance of the National Industrial Exposition, enshrining the 50th Emperor Kanmu. In the same year, Heian Jingu Shrine was listed as a Kanpei Taisha and the shrine buildings, including Daigokuden, were completed.
The National Industrial Exposition was held from April to July 1895. The number of visitors was about 1,137,000. On October 22nd, 1895, Jidai Matsuri Festival, a festival of Heian Jingu, began. In 1912, Taiheikaku and Shobikan were moved from the Kyoto Imperial Palace to the Heian Jingu Shrine, and in 1928, O-Torii Gate was built. In 1940, the 121st Emperor Komei was added to the list of deity at Heian Jingu Shrine. In 1975, Shinen Garden was designated a place of scenic beauty. In the same year, Kyoto Takigi Noh is said to have begun. In 1976, January 6, nine buildings including Honden (Main Shrine) and Nai-Haiden were destroyed by arson, and in 1979, April, Honden (Main Shrine) and Nai-Haiden were rebuilt. In December 2010, six buildings including Daigokuden were designated as important cultural properties.
*reference・・・Heian Jingu Shrine website

【Heian Jingu Shrine Highlights (May be undisclosed)】

★Daigokuden (大極殿, Important Cultural Property) was built in 1895. Daigokuden was designed by Ito Chuta, professor emeritus of Tokyo Imperial University, Kiko Kiyoyoshi, an engineer of the Imperial Household Ministry, and Sasaki Iwajiro. Daigokuden was modeled after Daigoku-den, the main hall of Chodo-in, and was built about five-eighths the size of Daigoku-den. In the front garden of Daigokuden, there are sakon-no-sakura and ukon-no-tachibana, just like in Shishinden, the imperial palace.
★Otenmon (Otenmon Gate, 応天門, Important Cultural Property) was built in 1895. Otenmon was designed by Ito Chuta, Kiko Kiyoyoshi and Sasaki Iwajiro. Otenmon was modeled after Oten-mon of Chodo-in, and was built about five-eighths the size of Oten-mon.
★Shinen Garden (神苑, Place of Scenic Beauty) was created by landscape architect Ogawa Jihei for more than 20 years from 1895. Shinen Garden is a pond spring walking garden consisting of Higashi Shinen, Naka Shinen, Nishi Shinen, and Minami Shinen. Shinen Garden covers an area of about 10,000 tsubo (total area of 33,000 square meters).
★Otorii (Otorii Gate, 大鳥居) was built in 1928 as a commemorative project for the Gotaire of the 124th Emperor Showa. Otorii is a symbol and landmark of Heian Jingu Shrine with a height of over 20 meters.
平安神宮見どころ (Heian Jingu Shrine Highlights)

【Events (confirmation required)】

★Setsubun-sai (節分祭) is held every year on Setsubun. During Setsubun-sai, Hono-Kyogen performance by Shigeyama Shachu of the Okura school, Daina-no-gi to drive away demons, Oni-no-mai (dance), Fukumame-maki (bean throwing), and Dai-Hitaki-shinji are held. Daina-no-gi faithfully recreates Tsuina-shiki, which was held at the imperial court during the Heian period (794-1185) according to ancient rites.
★Benishidare Concert (紅しだれコンサート) is held every year in April. Benishidare Concert is a concert in which Beni-Shidare-zakura (Beni weeping cherry trees) planted in Higashi Shinen and Minami Shinen are lit up and music is enjoyed on the stage at Kihinkan in Higashi Shinen.
★Jidai Matsuri (時代祭) is held every year on October 22th. (Possibility of postponement) Jidai Matsuri procession consists of the Meiji Restoration period, the Edo period, the Azuchi-Momoyama period, the Muromachi period, the Yoshino period, the Kamakura period, the Fujiwara period, the Enryaku period, and the Shinko retsu. The procession starts at the Kenreimon Gate of the Kyoto Imperial Palace and goes to the Heian Jingu Shrine.

【Flower Calendar (cherry blossoms, etc )】

★The best time to see cherry blossoms (桜) is around early April. About 300 cherry trees are planted, including Beni-Shidare-zakura (Beni Weeping Cherry Trees), praised by Tanizaki Junichiro as “like a crimson cloud (Nishiki-no-kumo noyo)”, Somei Yoshino, and Weeping Cherry Trees, and Beni-Shidare-zakura in Heian-no-en of Minami Shinen and Beni-Shidare-zakura reflected in Seiho-ike Pond in Higashi Shinen are beautiful.
★The best time to see Hana Shobu (irises, 花菖蒲) is from early June to late June. About 2,000 irises of about 200 species of ancient Japanese flowers, mainly from the Ise, Higo, and Edo types, are planted around Byakko-ike Pond in Nishi Shinen, and the scenery of the irises, Byakko-ike Pond, and the Yatsuhashi Bridge built over Byakko-ike Pond is beautiful.
★The best time to see autumn leaves (紅葉) is from mid-November to late November. Maple trees, cherry trees, and other trees are planted in Shinen Garden, and the scenery of the autumn leaves and Seiho-ike Pond in Higashi Shinen is beautiful.
(The best time to see the plants depends on the climate of the year.)

【Telephone (Please refrain from making phone calls.)】

Tel: +81-75-761-0221

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended walking route from Heian Jingu Shrine is to Shoren-in Temple and Chion-in Temple. At Chion-in Temple, the Sanmon Gate is a symbol and landmark, and is considered one of the three great gates of Kyoto and Japan. From Chion-in Temple, we also recommend visiting Yasaka Shrine, which is popular with domestic and international tourists.

【Remarks(access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】
If you plan to visit Heian Jingu Shrine, be sure to check the latest information.


  1. 錦市場(Nishiki Market)
  2. 竹林の道(Bamboo Forest Path)
  3. 嵐山