Jan. 30, 2024 UPDATE
Baikasai and Nodate Ohchanoyu (Ume plum blossom festival)- 梅花祭野点大茶湯 -
While slightly inconvenient as you have to visit Kitano Tenmangu Shrine to purchase your tickets, the shrine is easily accessible by bus from Kyoto Station.
English brochure about Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is available at the office
2730 12 --- 0 reviews
PeriodFebruary 25th, every year
VenueKitano Tenmangu Shrine
Story & Recommendation
Enjoy the beautiful plum garden at Kitano Tenmangu
Established in 947, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine enshrines Sugawara Michizane (845 to 903), a scholar, writer, and politician from the beginning of the Heian period, who is also known as a deity of wisdom. As Sugawara Michizane was born on June 25th, the Tenjin Festival is held every 25th of each month. On February 25th, Baikasai, the Ume plum blossom festival, is held in Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. As Michizane died on February 25th, this festival takes place to rest his soul. During Baikasai, there is an event called “Nodate” where Maiko, Geiko, and Okami, their masters, serve tea to visitors in the plum garden. They are from Kamishichiken, which 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 http://sharing-kyoto.com/Blog/b_Baikasai/
This event is associated with the tea ceremony that Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a feudal lord who completed the unification of Japan, hosted in 1587 at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. Baikasai Nodate Ohchanoyu has been held annually since 1952 and all Maiko, Geiko and Okami, their masters, from Kamishichiken Kaburenjo Theater, located right next to Kitano Tenmangu, join this event to serve tea to guests. All of them are from Kamishichiken Kaburenjo where they train and perform. The atmosphere is very tasteful as plum trees are blooming beautifully 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. Two rice casks, plum branches 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 of 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 -
Please do not eat in the shrine precinct. Also, please note that there are areas where you cannot enter (check the signs around there).