Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (Nade-Ushi,location,history)

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Nade-Ushi

The information about Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is presented here. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine holds Tenjin-Ichi (Tenjin-Ichi Market, Tenjin-San, Tenjin Market) on the 25th of every month. Tenjin-shi is named after Sugawara no Michizane, the deity of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, whose date of birth was June 25th, 845, and date of death was February 25th, 903. In Tenjin-Ichi, about 1,000 shops selling antiques, old tools, food, etc. are open from early morning until about 16:00 on the 25th of every month.

【Kitano Tenmangu Shrine Location Map & Directions】

Address: Bakuro-cho Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Kitano-Tenmangu-mae bus stop (about 2 minutes on foot), Randen Kitanohakubaicho Station (about 10 minutes on foot)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: 5:00-18:00 (Apr.-Sep.), 5:30-17:30 (Oct.-Mar.), 6:00-21:00(25th of every month)
Closed: open year round

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】


【Kitano Tenmangu Shrine History】

The site of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) is enshrined is said to have been the domain of the Hata clan, where Raijin (god of thunder) was said to have been enshrined since ancient times. Later, during the Heian period (794-1185), Iyo-shinnou, a prince of the 50th Emperor Kanmu, built Oi-no-sho, where horse archery was held. It is also said that Sakura-gu Shrine (Sakura-no-miya Shrine), which enshrines the deity Amaterasu-omikami, was built here, as well as Joju-ji Temple, which was moved from Nara. It is said that in 836, it became a festival site to enshrine Tenjin-chigi for the envoy Kentoushi. In 899, Sugawara no Michizane was appointed the U-daiji, but in 901, due to a false report by Sa-daijin Fujiwara no Tokihira, Sugawara no Michizane was demoted to Dazaifu and died in Dazaifu in 903. After the death of Sugawara no Michizane, a series of malignant epidemics continued in Kyoto, and it was feared that it was the work of Sugawara no Michizane’s vengeful spirit, so in 923 the imperial court revoked the demotion, restored his official rank to U-daiji, and conferred the rank of Shonii. However, in 930, the Seiryoden Lightning Incident occurred at the Imperial Palace. It is said that in 942, Tajihi no Ayako, who lived in Shichijo, Ukyo, received an oracle from Sugawara no Michizane to “enshrine it in Ukon’s Baba”, and she built a temporary small shrine in her own home. Later, the oracle is said to have been given to Tajihi no Ayako, and also to Taromaru, the son of Miwa no Yoshitane, a Shinto priest of Omi Hiranomiya Shrine, and Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is said to have originated in 947 when Tajihi no Ayako, Miwa no Yoshitane and Saichin, a monk of Kitano Asahi-dera Temple (Higashimukai Kannon-ji Temple), built a shrine and enshrined Sugawara no Michizane. Kitano Asahi-dera Temple became the jinguji temple, and the first Kitano-Betto was Zezan-kokushi, the Manshuin-Monzaki, who belonged to the Sugawara family. Around 959, Fujiwara no Morosuke, a nephew of Fujiwara no Tokihira, who was the cause of Sugawara no Michizane’s demotion, donated his private residence to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, and a large shrine building was constructed. It is said that it burned down in 973. In 987, the 66th Emperor Ichijo sent an imperial envoy to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and received the divine title “Kitano Tenmangu Tenjin”, and Kitano-sai (Imperial Festival) is said to have begun. In 991, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine was listed as one of the 19 shrines under Ise Jingu. In 993, the deity Sugawara no Michizane was given the rank of Shoichi and Daijo-Daijin. In 1004, Emperor Ichijo made his first visit to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. Later, in 1081, it was ranked as one of the lower eight shrines of the 22-shrine system. From the Heian period (794-1185) onward, the monks from the three shrine families of Shobai-in Temple, Tokusho-in Temple, and Myozo-in Temple served as priests. It is also said to have burned down in 1234. In 1375, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the third shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate, made his first visit to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, which he visited frequently thereafter. It was worshipped by the Ashikaga clan after the Nanboku-cho period (1337-1392). In 1401, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu mourned the war dead of the Meitoku-no-Ran (Yamana Ujikiyo no Ran) and built Kitano Kyoodo Ganjoju-ji Temple at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. In 1442, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine was listed as one of the seven shrines (Ishimizu Hachimangu Shrine, Kamo Shrine (Kamigamo Shrine and Shimogamo Shrine), Matsuo Taisha Shrine, Hirano Shrine and Kasuga Taisha Shrine). In 1444, the shrine building was burned down by the Muromachi shogunate due to the Bunan-no-Kojisodo over Kojiza’s exclusive right to make koji, and the shrine temporarily declined. In 1587, Toyotomi Hideyoshi held the Kitano Dai-chakai (tea ceremony) at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. It is said that in 1591, Izumo no Okuni performed the yakko-odori (dance) at Shobai-in Temple, and in 1603, Izumo no Okuni dressed up as a man and performed the kabuki-odori (dance). In 1605, Toyotomi Hideyori, son of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, rebuilt Kitano Kyoodo and in 1607, Toyotomi Hideyori rebuilt Honden and others. In 1662, the shrine buildings were damaged by an earthquake, and were subsequently repaired. In 1868, Kitano-Betto was abolished, and Shobai-in Temple, Tokusho-in Temple, and Myozo-in Temple were also abolished. Many of temple buildings in Kitano Tenmangu Shrine were dismantled, and Kitano Kyoodo was moved to Senbon Shakado (Daihoon-ji Temple). In 1871, the shrine name was changed to Kitano Shrine, and after World War II, the name was further changed to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.
*reference・・・Kitano Tenmangu Shrine website

【Kitano Tenmangu Shrine Highlights (May be undisclosed)】

★Honden (Main Hall, 本殿, National Treasure) was rebuilt in 1607 by Toyotomi Hideyori, the son of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, at the request of his father. Honden is connected to Haiden by Ishi-no-ma, and there are Gaku-no-ma on both sides of Haiden. Honden enshrines Sugawara no Michizane as its main deity, as well as Sugawara no Michizane’s eldest son, Chushodono (Sugawara no Takami) and his wife, Kishonyo (Shimada no Nobukiko).
★Sanko-mon (Sanko-mon Gate, 三光門, Important Cultural Property) was built in 1607 by Toyotomi Hideyori. Generally, the sun, moon, and star are carved between the beams of Sanko-mon, but Sanko-mon has a bright red sun and a golden moon, but there are no stars to be seen, and Sanko-mon is counted as one of the seven wonders of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine as Hoshikake-no-Sanko-mon.
★More than a dozen Nade-Ushi (petting cows) are dedicated to the temple grounds. Cows are said to be Michizane Sugawara’s errands because he was born in the year of the cow and died on the day of the cow in the month of the cow. It is said that if you stroke the head of Nade-Ushi, it will make you smarter. It is also said that if you stroke a bad part of your body and then stroke the same part of Nade-Ushi, the bad part will be cured.
北野天満宮見どころ(Kitano Tenmangu Shrine Highlights)

【Events (confirmation required)】

★Tenjin-Ichi (Tenjin-Ichi Market, Tenjin-San, Tenjin Market, 天神市) is held on the 25th of every month. Tenjin-Ichi on January 25th is called “Hatsu-Tenjin,” and Tenjin-Ichi on December 25th is called “Shimai-Tenjin”. At Tenjin-Ichi, about 1,000 shops selling antiques, old tools, food, etc. are open.
★Setsubun-sai Tsuina-shiki (節分祭追儺式) is held every year on Setsubun. At Setsubun-sai Tsuina-shiki, visitors pray for the coming year to be free from misfortune and disease.. At Setsubun-sai Tsuina-shiki, Kitano-Tsuina-Kyogen by Shigayama Sengoro Shachu and Nihon-Buyo (Japan dance) by Maiko and Geiko of Kamishichiken are dedicated. A bean-throwing is also held.
★Baika-sai (梅花祭) and Baika-sai Nodate Ochayu (梅花祭野点大茶湯) are held every year on February 25th. At Baika-sai, a special offering is made to the gods to commemorate the legacy of Sugawara no Michizane. Baika-sai Nodate Ochayu is named after Kitano Dai-chakai (tea ceremony) held by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1587, and is served by maiko and geiko of Kamishichiken.
★Zuiki-matsuri is held every year from October 1st to October 5th. On October 1st, Horenthe and others are paraded from Kitano Tenmangu Shrine to Nishinokyo Otaisho, and on October 4th, from Nishinokyo Otaisho to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. Zuiki-Mikoshi is enshrined at Nishinokyo Otaisho, from October 1st to the morning of October 4th.

【Flower Calendar (cherry blossoms, etc )】

★The best time to see plum blossoms (梅) is from mid-February to mid-March. About 1,500 plum trees of 50 varieties are planted in Bai-en (ume garden) and in front of Honden, including Beniwakon-bai, Kanko-bai, Unryu-bai, Omoinomama, Tsuki-no-Katsura, and Kuro-ume, and it is said that the scenery of the plum trees, Baien (ume garden), and Honden is beautiful. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is illuminated every year around the time of the plum blossoms, and a special night viewing is held. (night illumination, 梅苑ライトアップ)
北野天満宮梅苑ライトアップ (Kitano Tenmangu Shrine night illumination)
★The best time to see autumn leaves (紅葉) is from mid-November to late November. About 300 maple trees are planted in Momiji-en (maple garden), and it is said that the scenery of autumn leaves, Momiji-en, Tenjin-gawa River, and the red Uguisu Bridge is beautiful. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is illuminated every year around the time of the autumn leaves, and a special night viewing is held. (night illumination, 紅葉ライトアップ)
北野天満宮紅葉ライトアップ (Kitano Tenmangu Shrine night illumination)
(The best time to see the plants depends on the climate of the year.)

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

Tel: +81-75-461-0005

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended walking route from Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is to Kamishichiken, Hanamachi (Kagai) district on the east side. Kami Shichiken is one of the five Hanamachi (Kagai), along with Gion-Kobe, Gion-Higashi, Miyagawa-cho, and Ponto-cho, and offers the atmosphere of a Hanamachi (Kagai). Hirano Shrine, one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing spots in Kyoto, is located on the west side, and a walk around Hirano Shrine during the cherry blossom season is recommended.

【Remarks(access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】
If you plan to visit Kitano Tenmangu 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