Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine is a shrine with a unique torii gate in the middle of Nishiki Market
The entrance of Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine is illuminated by Japanese lanterns. The shrine is located in the Shinkyogoku Shopping Street, which now may seem like an odd place for a shrine, but the roots of the shrine go back a thousand years, to the year 1003 when a temple called Kanki-ji was founded, and a shrine enshrining Sugawara no Michizane, the god of learning, was also founded to protect the temple. The temple and shrine were moved to the center of Kyoto as a part of the reconstruction of Kyoto by the shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The temple was moved into Higashiyama during the Meiji period because of shinbutsu bunri, the separation of Shinto from Buddhism, shrines from temples. The shrine that remained in the current place was Nishiki Tenmangu, and even to this day, many people visit this shrine to prosper in their studies.
The main shrine
The god of learning, Sugawara-no Michizane, is enshrined in the main shrine. As he became the highest ranked scholar when he was young, so many people visit every day to aim for academic improvements. In addition, it is told that the shrine is good for success in businesses. There is a fortune slip machine next to the shrine. The machine has a robot lion doing the lion dance, and if you put money in the machine he will pick a fortune slip for you. They even have two types of fortune slips in English!
The main torii gate between Shin-kyogoku Shopping Street and Teramachi Street. Look up at the top of the gate! Both sides of the gate go through the buildings. It was established around 1935 as the gateway to the shrine, but some areas of the premises were sold, and these buildings were then constructed. If you look closely, you may see the edge of the gate go through the buildings. Going to the stores on the second floor to see the torii gate poking out from the wall is also fun, one of the stores is one selling anime figurines and the other one sells “gothic Lolita” paraphilia.
Drink Nishiki water
Nishiki Tenmangu is famous for their great water, so you should try drinking it. The water quality here is so great that it’s said Nishiki Market was build close to this shrine/temple because of the good-quality water. Sometimes you can see locals pour water into their plastic bottles.
Get an original wooden amulet
These original wooden amulets shaped like a plum are called Daigan-ume and they cost 500 yen per piece. It is said that Sugawara no Michizane loved plums, which is why these amulets are shaped like them. You can write your wishes on the paper inside the plum and then close the plum again, and then hang it from a plum tree, or just take it home with you.
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Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine / 錦天満宮
|Category||Temples & Shrines|
|Address||537, Nakanocho, Nakagyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 604-8042|
|Directions||4-minute walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station.|
|Open Hours||8 a.m. to 8 p.m.|
|Credit cards||Not accepted|
They have brochures in English at the shrine and the head priest is an expert on the history of Kyoto. He can tell you in English about it if you are interested and he has time.
|Information||Japanese and English|
|Lanuages spoken||Japanese, English (not always present), and French|