Dec. 28, 2018 UPDATE

Baikasai and Nodate Ohchanoyu (Ume plum blossom festival)

- 梅花祭野点大茶湯 -
PeriodFebruary 25th, every year
VenueKitano Tenmangu Shrine
Enjoy the beautiful plum garden at Kitano Tenmangu
Established in 947, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine enshrines Sugawara Michizane who was a scholar, litterateur and politician in the beginning of Heian era (lived from 845 to 903). He is also known as a deity of wisdom. As Sugawara Michizane was born on June 25th, Tenjin festival is held every 25th of each month. On February 25th, Baikasai, Ume plum blossom festival, is held in Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. 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 tea in the plum garden. They are from Kamishichiken where is the oldest Geiko district in northwest Kyoto. You need to reserve your seat for this event, so please check the detailed information below. ▼Click here for Writer's Blog
Nodate Ohchanoyu
Nodate Ohchanoyu
This event is associated with the tea ceremony taken place in Kitano Tenmangu Shrine that Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a feudal lord who completed the unification of Japan, hosted in 1587. Baikasai Nodate Ohchanoyu has been held annually since 1952 and all Maiko, Geiko and Okami, their masters, from Kamishichiken Kaburenjo Theater where is right next to Kitano Tenmangu would join all together for this event for serving a tea to invited guests. All of them are from Kamishichiken Kaburenjo where they train, perform and serve. The atmosphere is very tasteful as plum trees are blooming perfectly well around this time of year. Please note that you need to purchase a ticket for this event. The tickets are available at the office of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.
During the festival, priests worship the soul of Sugawara Michizane and provide “Baika no Gokuu” which is a holy meal for Michizane and two rice casks, plum branch and kodate are offered. Kodate is a paper cup and plum branches are put inside. 42 white plum branches and 33 pink branches are offered as it is associated with the idea of a critical age called “Yakudoshi” based on the Theory of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements. As the age 42 for men and 33 for women are regarded as a critical age, the same numbers of plum branches are offered to Michizane’s spirit.
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -
Please do not eat in the shrine precinct. Also, please note that there are areas where you cannot enter (check the signs around there).
4.2 experience5.0 access3.0 photogenic4.5
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
4.2 experience5.0 access3.0 photogenic4.5
I personally like this shrine as it is calm and has a historical atmosphere. Since it is located in a bit remote area, you may think it is hard to access. However, if you take a bus from Kyoto Station, it only takes about 30 minutes and bus stops right in front of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. At this event, you can have a communication with Maiko, Geiko and Okami while enjoying the taste of tea.
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Baikasai and Nodate Ohchanoyu (Ume plum blossom festival) / 梅花祭野点大茶湯
Phone +81 75-461-0005
Address Bakuro-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto
Directions 1 minute walk from Kitano Tenmagu Mae stop on Kyoto City Bus #50 or #101 from Kyoto station
Event time 10am - 3pm
Cancellations No postponement for rain
Price range
Ticket for tea ceremony is ¥1,500 There are 3,000 tickets in total and you can purchase them from January 25th. The tickets are available only at the office of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.
Credit cards Not accepted
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
It may be inconvenient as you need to visit Kitano Tenmangu Shrine to purchase your ticket for this event. But it would be easy to access as you can take a bus from Kyoto Station.
Information English brochure about Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is available at the office
Lanuages spoken Japanese only
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