Apr. 21, 2022 UPDATE

Experience a tea ceremony with real maiko and geiko!

Sharing Kyoto's writers went to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and saw and drank tea with real maiko.
Mika[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is famous for plum blossoms. We have visited there for the plum garden and Baikasai, Ume plum blossom festival, on February 25th. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine was established in 947 and enshrines Sugawara Michizane who was a scholar, litterateur and politician in the beginning of Heian era (lived from 845 to 903). Honden, the main shrine, and worship hall called “Haiden” are designated National Treasure in Japan and students all over Japan frequently come visit to offer a fervent prayer for their study as this shrine is known as a deity of wisdom. As Michizane died on February 25th, this festival is taken place to repose his soul. During Baikasai, there is an event called “Nodate” which Maiko, Geiko and Okami, their masters, would serve you a Matcha tea. They are from Kamishichiken where the oldest Geiko district in northwest Kyoto is.

▼Click here for more details about the event


Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

nice weather

This is the gate of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. It was such a nice weather.

There are many food vendors
There are many food vendors through the path to the shrine. (Every 25th of each month, there is an illumination event called “Go-en-nichi”, the day of Tenjin. There are food vendors in the street around the shrine, so we recommend that you try some food there!)

plum garden
So, we have started our tour from looking around the plum garden.

white plum

pink plum

There are various kinds of plum blossoms with different colors.

Ume plum blossoms festival

After enjoying the beautiful plum blossoms in the plum garden, we went to the main event “Ume plum blossoms festival (Baikasai)”! There are two options for guests: table seats and floor seats. You need to wait for a while in line before you will enjoy the Matcha tea served by Maiko, Geiko and Okami, their masters. ※Please make a reservation before you join this event.

Maiko make a tea
On the floor seats, Maiko make a tea for you (not for all of the guests who sit on the floor seats). There is a hot water pot in font of Maiko and she pours it to the Matcha cup. Then, she makes a tea by bamboo whisk.

they serve Matcha tea
When they serve Matcha tea, they put the Matcha cup in front of you and bow before and after serving the tea.

Geiko and maiko
When you sit on the table seat, Maiko, Geiko and Okami, their masters, will bring Matcha tea made in the back of the stage by Okami. It may be a good idea to have a seat on the table seat if you have an anxiety with your body (on the floor seat, you need to sit on the floor).

gorgeous accessories
We also enjoyed looking at their hair accessories as they all have different kinds of gorgeous accessories that have meanings.

A comment from the staff
I was amazed by the hospitality by Maiko, Geiko and Okami in this event! You may enjoy the colors and patterns of their exquisite Kimono and also their beautiful hair accessories. Please note that you need to make a reservation before the event. Tickets are available at the office of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. There are 3,000 tickets in total and you can purchase them from January 25th. It may be one of your memorable events joined in Japan.

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