Kyoto: Heian Shrine

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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.)
Shichigosan Children

Shichigosan Children

Note the fish tails on the roof of the gate (to protect against fire.)

Shichigosan Children

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.
Flower Arrangements

Flower Arrangements

Flower Arrangements

Shichigosan Children

Shrine Building

Shrine Buildings with Tent

Tent with Children

A miko sells a selection of charms.

Shrine Buildings

Shrine Buildings

Chouzuya with Bear

Chouzuya with Dragon

A wedding party.
Wedding Party

Bride and Groom

All Entries For This Trip.

1 thought on “Kyoto: Heian Shrine

  1. Mom

    The shrine and area look familiar but we did not see cute little kids in kimonos, weddings or gorgeous flower arrangements. You timed your trip for the right time of year. We went in late May. And your pictures are excellent!

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