A shrine with a carpet of over 400 cherry blossoms that flower all season long
Hirano Shrine is most well known for its nearly 400 sakura cherry blossom trees of 60 different varieties.
Among the trees, there are ten uncommon varieties that are unique to the shrine.
One of these, the sakigake cherry blossom that sits behind the main gate, is said to signal the arrival of the cherry blossom season in Kyoto when it blooms.
While the exact period in which the trees blossom differs between species, the peak cherry blossom season at the Hirano Shrine is typically between late March and late April, meaning that you enjoy these icons of Japan for at least a month.
The shrine also sells some items related to sakura cherry blossoms too, including paper fortunes, ema wooden tablets (for writing wishes on), and more. Even if you don't believe in fortunes, these unique takes on classic shrine offerings can be great souvenirs.
Other popular sightseeing spots such as the Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion and Kitano Tenmangu Shrine can be easily gotten to by foot from the Hirano Shrine, so it's a great place to stop by while exploring the many historic temples in the area.
Sakigake Sakura Cherry Blossom Tree
The sakigake species of cherry blossom originated from the Hirano Shrine.
If you plan on visiting Kyoto around late March, Hirano Shrine's sakigake sakura will be waiting for you! So if you're nearby, make sure to dorp by the shrine and snap a few pictures of the beautiful pastel petals.
Even though the sakigake sakura is only one tree, it is absolutely breathtaking!!
Sakura Shaped Paper Fortunes
The Hirano Shrine sells awesome looking paper fortunes made to look like cherry blossom petals for ¥300.
As you open the paper to reveal your fortune, the paper unfurls like the blossoming petal of a cherry tree.
Although the fortunes are only written in Japanese, you won't find anything like them anywhere else so we highly recommend one up as a memento of your spring spent in Kyoto even if you can't read Japanese!
Receive Energy from the Suehirogane Stone
The Hirano Shrine's Suehirogane stone is 70% iron, meaning that any magnet magically sticks to it.
It's believed that people place Sazukaru Omamori (good luck charms for pregnancy｜¥800) on the stone to pray for happiness and receive its power.
Notice: Please don't put any electronic devices, including your phone, on the stone as it may make it faulty.