May. 14, 2018 UPDATE

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine: Early Summer Fresh Green Maple Trees

Odoi Maple Trees at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine now flourishes with fully green leaves. Strolling along trails by the Kamiya River calms you down with breeze of nature.
Chiemi[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

What do you come up with when you hear the word “maple trees”? Red and yellow leaves weaving spectacular mats on mountains? How about green maple leaves in summer? Here, I’ll introduce a spot where you can enjoy the natural leafy greenery.


Odoi Green Maple Trees are available until June 30 (Sat). There is the entrance for it on the east side of the Main shrine. Odoi is an earthen mount built by Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 1591 encircling Kyoto as a defense wall from enemies. You can see the remnants of Odoi here as well. 


After passing through the entrance, there is an astonishing view. Since green maple trees are not well known by tourists, there were few people. I enjoyed the view from Butai (stage) for a while with no one surrounded me. So, I felt as if I had been the owner of the maple garden!

 

As I walked along the river, I heard nothing but the running stream. The combination of the lush greens and the clear water relaxed me and let me forget my hectic city life. It was such a great opportunity to take a deep breath with the warming soft sunlight.

 

It is the best time to cherish the contrast of the colors, bright scarlet-red of the bridge and deep green of the maple trees. You can take great pictures, especially on a clear sunny day!

 

After refreshing myself in the garden, I took a walk around the precincts of the shrine. Since it worships Sugawara no Michizane, well known as the “god of academics,” there were a few students on school trips. They eagerly prayed for their good academic performances, which reminded me of my school life (many exams and papers!).


Several goods are available there, for example, charms for safety and health. Among them, I got Fuku Mikuji (¥500), random fortunes like fortune cookies. Inside the cute figure, representing the Chinese zodiac, there was a piece of paper which told what would happen in my life (written in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean). I won’t reveal what was on it, so please get one for your own fun!

 

Green maple trees might not be on your wish list, but they will impress you with the energetic, refreshing, and relaxing atmosphere. I recommend exploring Odoi Green Maple Trees this time of the year and discovering a new face of early summer Kyoto.


Kitano Tenmangu Shrine: Odoi Green Maple Trees

Period: April 14 (Sat.) – June 30 (Sat.)

Admission: 9:00 a.m – 16:00 p.m.

Admission Fees: Adults ¥500    Children and High and Junior School Students ¥250

A comment from the staff
Chiemi
I hadn’t thought that we could enjoy maple leaves in early summer too. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is quite popular among tourists, but it is not so crowded around this time of the year. Being away from the busy central Kyoto, you can sit on benches, feeling the power of nature, and relieve stress!
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