Interesting Facts

by / on January 14, 2015 at 3:23 PM / in Higashiyama-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Shogatsu, Temples-Shrines

Tōka Ebisu Matsuri, at the Ebisu shrine in Kyoto.

Tōka Ebisu Matsuri: One of the first festivals in Kyoto is the Tōka Ebisu Matsuri. Although it is celebrated at many Ebisu shrines, the one at the Ebisu Shrine (ゑびす神社) in the Gion district of Kyoto is popular with many people. Other famous locations in the Kansai area are Osaka’s Imamiya Shrine (今宮戎神社) and Hyogo Prefecture’s Nishinomiya shrine (西宮神社). Kyoto’s […]

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by / on December 29, 2014 at 3:46 PM / in Kamigyō-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Shogatsu, Temples-Shrines

New Years Preparation in Kitano Tenman-gū.

New-Years Preparation: As 2014 draws to a close, Shrines and temples are busily preparing for the influx of people that will come to pray and buy lucky charms for the new-year. Many Shrines in Kyoto have large ema tablets with the new-years zodiac sign displayed in their precincts. The year of the Sheep: 2015 is the year of the sheep […]

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by / on February 18, 2014 at 1:47 PM / in Higashiyama-ku, Interesting Facts, Noh, Temples-Shrines

Imakumano Shrine Founded by Emperor Go-Shirakawa in 1160!

Valentines Day in Snowy Kyoto: A few days ago, while driving to the north of Kyoto, I passed by the Imakumano Shrine (新熊野神社) on Higashi Oki dori about 200 meters from the Sanjūsangen-dō (三十三間堂) temple towards the Sennyu-ji Temple grounds. It was valentine’s Day and it was snowing. I have passed this shrine many a time but never stopped by […]

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by / on July 4, 2013 at 6:27 PM / in Interesting Facts, Kamigyō-ku, Temples-Shrines, Understanding Shinto.

Nagoshi-no-harae, at the Kitano Tenman-gū!

“Great Purification”: On this day people go to a shrine and pass through a chinowa (gate of reed) to be purified of all defilements (kegare) and protected from misfortune. A few days ago it was Nagoshi-no-harae (夏越の祓) or “Summer Purification” at the Kitano Tenman-gū (北野天満宮) in Kyoto! On the last day of the sixth or seventh month (called Nagoshi-no-harae  or […]

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by / on January 14, 2013 at 7:10 PM / in Higashiyama-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Shogatsu, Temples-Shrines

Kadomatsu and Shimekazari: New-Years Decoration!

During the New-Years period here in Japan, many temples and shrines display Kadomatsu on the main entrance gates. You’ll also see them in front of private houses, businesses  and the like. Another decoration that is associated with New-Year is Shimekazari, you’ll see them hanging above door posts or all over Japan. Here a little more about these decorations and their significance […]

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by / on January 6, 2013 at 7:02 PM / in Featured, Fushimi-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Shogatsu, Temples-Shrines

Fushimi Inari Taisha During Shōgatsu!

During the Shōgatsu season (new-Year) I visited the Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto! Shōgatsu is an important time of the year for Japanese people. As soon as the buddhist temples bells toll for the passing into the new year, thousands of people go to the shrines. Amongst one of the most popular is the Fushimi Inari Taisha as it is […]

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by / on January 4, 2013 at 3:24 PM / in Featured, Fushimi-ku, Interesting Facts, Matsuri-Festival, Shogatsu, Temples-Shrines, Understanding Shinto.

Kagura Dance at Fushimi Inara Taisha in Kyoto!

Yesterday, on the 3rd day of the new year I visited the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto. While there, a shrine maiden performed the Kagura dance accompanied by an ornately painted tsuri-daiko, a Yamagoto and a Yokobue flute. Kagura is the ancient Shinto ritual dance of shamanic origin. The word “kagura” is thought to be a contracted form of kami no […]

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