The Heian Shrine is dedicated to two emperors: Kammu, who founded the city of Kyoto in 794, and Koumei, the last emperor to spend his life in the city. It is thus a focus of civic pride.
The entrance is marked by a suitably imposing torii.
The shrine was overrun with tiny little children in colorful kimonos. (This happened to be the week of Shichigosan, when children aged 3, 5 and 7 are supposed to be brought to their tutelary shrine to be blessed.)
Note the fish tails on the roof of the gate (to protect against fire.)
This is Mariko, a volunteer guide who offered to show me around the shrine for a chance to practice her English.
For one week, four times a year, the shrine displays flower arrangements by local artists. If this has any special religious significance Mariko was unable to explain it.
A miko sells a selection of charms.
A wedding party.