Kamishichiken (location,opening hours,history)


The information about Kamishichiken is presented here. Kamishichiken is located north-northwest of Kyoto Station, and its landmark is Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. Kamishichiken extends to the east of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. Kamishichiken is Kyoto’s representative Hanamachi (Kagai) district, and is home to Kamishichiken Kabukai, to which maiko and geiko (geisha) belong. Kamishichiken Kabukai holds Kitano Odori dance from around late March to early April every year. Kamishichiken together with Ponto-cho, Gion-Koubu, Gion-Higashi, and Miyagawa-cho, are known as the “Go-Kagai (Five Hanamachi)”.

【Kamishichiken Location Map & Directions】

Address: Kamishichiken, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Kitano Temmangu mae bus stop (about 5 minutes on foot), Kami Shichiken bus stop (about 5 minutes on foot), Randen Kitanohakubaicho Station (about 12 minutes on foot)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: 24 hours (Shops have different opening hours depending on the type of business.)
Closed: open year round (Shops are closed differently depending on the shop.)

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】

Street is free

【Kamishichiken Brief Overview】

Kamishichiken (上七軒) extends to the east of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮). Kamishichiken is said to have originated when seven cha-ya (teahouses) were built in the pine grove in front of the eastern gate of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine using materials left over from the reconstruction of the shrine in the Muromachi period (1336-1573). Kamishichiken was originally called Shichiken Jaya (Chaya). According to an old document, a part of the shrine building of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine was destroyed by fire in 1444, and Ashikaga Yoshitane, the 10th shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate, ordered Hosokawa Katsumoto to rebuild the shrine building. At that time, it is said that seven cha-ya (teahouses) were built in the pine grove in front of the east gate of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine with leftover materials and used as a resting place for worshippers. In 1444, in the middle of the Muromachi period (1336-1573), it is recorded that the shrine building of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine was destroyed by fire in an attack by the Muromachi shogunate due to the Buan-no-kojisoudou (Bunan no koji disturbance) over the exclusive right to produce koji. In 1587, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi held Kitano Ochayu (Kitano Grand Tea Ceremony) at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, cha-ya (teahouse) offered dango (dumpling). As a reward, they were given the privilege of selling Mitarashi dango (Mitarashi dumpling) and the rights (cha-ya kabu) to cha-ya (teahouse). The emblem of the Itsutsu dango (five dumplings) of Kamishichiken Kabukai is derived from the Mitarashi dango. Kitano Ochayu was a rude cha-kai (tea ceremony) that was open to all regardless of status. At Kitano Ochayu, more than 1,500 suki-ya and cha-ya (teahouses) were built to host guests and to display cha-ki (tea utensils) owned by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Toyotomi Hideyoshi served as master of the tea ceremony along with Sen no Rikyu, Tsuda Sokyu, and Imai Sokyu, all tea masters. Kitano Ochayu was originally scheduled to last 10 days, but ended after only one day.
Every year on February 25th, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine holds Baika-sai Nodate Ochyayu (Baika-sai Outdoor Tea Ceremony) in honor of Kitano Ochayu, with maiko and geiko (geisha) from Kamishichiken serving. From the Aduchi Momoyama period (1573-1600), Kamishichiken was connected with Nishijin and developed. Later, during the Edo period (1603-1868), the rights (cha-ya kabu) to cha-ya (teahouse) were leased to Shimo-no-Mori and Goban-cho, and Kamishichiken developed as Hanamachi (Kagai) geisha district.
Most of cha-ya (teahouses) were changed business or closed down during World War II and reopened around 1945. In 1952, Kitano Odori dance began in commemoration of the Daimanto-sai held once every 50 years at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. In 2001, Kamishichiken area was designated as the Kamigyo-Kitano Landscape Improvement District, and in 2010, Kaburenjo, which was built during the Meiji period (1868-1912), was extensively renovated. In 2013, the underground installation of electric wires was completed, and night lights were installed on the street, transforming it into a cobblestone-style pavement.
★Kitano Tenmangu Shrine was founded in 947 by Tajihi no Ayako, who lived in Nishinokyo, Miwa no Yoshitane, a Shinto priest of Hiranomiya Shrine in Omi (Shiga), Saichin, a monk of Kitano Asahi-ji Temple, and others, and the sinden (shrine building) was enshrined Sugawara no Michizane as a deity. It is said that in 903 Sugawara no Michizane died in Dazaifu, where he was relegated, and that in 942 a mission was entrusted to Tajihi no Ayako, and again in 947 to Taromaru, a son of Miwa no Yoshitane.
*reference・・・Kamishichiken website


★Kitano Odori dance (北野をどり) is held every year from around late March to early April. In Kitano Odori dance, maiko and geiko (geish) perform their dances. Kamishichiken also holds Kotobuki-kai (寿会) around October every year.
★Kamishichiken Beer Garden (上七軒ビアガーデン) is held every year from July 1st to September 5th. In Kamishichiken Beer Garden, seats are set up in the garden of Kaburenjo and other places, and maiko and geiko (geisha) entertain guests in yukata (summer kimono). Kamishichiken Beer Garden has been held every year since 1948.
★Bon Odori (盆踊り) is held in the summer. In Bon Odori, maiko and geiko (geisha) dance in yukata (summer kimono). Food stalls are also set up.

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

Tel: +81-75-213-1717(Kyoto City Tourism Association)

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended walking route from Kamishichiken is the route to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. Kamishichiken is associated with Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, and you can feel the history of the area. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is famous for plum blossoms and autumn leaves, so it is especially recommended during the plum blossoms and autumn leaf seasons. By the way, Hirano Shrine, famous for cherry blossoms, is located on the west side of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, and Hirano Shrine is recommended during the cherry blossom season.

【Remarks(access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】

If you plan to visit Kamishichiken, be sure to check the latest information.
Be aware of the etiquette of maiko and geiko.


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