Heian-jingu Shrine

Heian-jingu Shrine © Iry

Heian-jingu Shrine

Heian-jingu shrine was built in 1895 to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the establishment of Heian-kyō (ancient name of Kyoto). It is famous for its vermilion-lacquered gate. Kanmu Tenno, who transferred the capital to Kyoto, and Komei Tenno, the last emperor before the capital was moved to Tokyo, are both enshrined here. The architecture design was a reproduction of the Chōdōin (Emperor’s palace in the former eras) in 5/8th scale (in length). You can feel the Heian Period atmosphere all over the place.

It is thought that the site for the city was selected according to the principles of Shijinsoō based on Chinese Feng Shui (Shijinsoō lit. "Four God Suitability" relates to the Four Symbols of Chinese Astrology). In the east there was a flowing river, in the west - a big road, a wetland in the south and a mountain in the north. Heian-jingu Shrine is also surrounded by sakura trees and a pond, in accordance with feng shui principles.

Garden with 300 cherry trees

There are four gardens around Heian-jingu Shrine: east garden, middle garden, western garden and south garden. The total area is 33.000 m2. The stroll garden was created by Jihei Ogawa the 7th. You can see various flowers here throughout the year, sakura (cherry blossoms) being the most famous. There are over 20 kinds of cherry trees planted in this garden. Sakura trees are especially beautiful at night, when their pink flowers are reflected in the pond. We recommend visiting on a day when a concert or an event is held.

Usually the entrance costs 600 yen; however, it’s free during the sakura blooming period. Opening hours are from 8:30 to 17:30, March 1-14 and October 1-31 until 17:00, November 1 - end of February the garden closes at 16:30.

Enjoy the historical traditions at Jidai Matsuri

On October 22, Heian-jingū hosts the Jidai Matsuri, which is one of the most important festivals of Kyoto. It was first celebrated in 1895 when Heian-jingu was built in order to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of Kyoto. During the festival, a procession of people wearing costumes of the Edo Period (1603-1868), Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1573-1603), Muromachi Period (1336-1573), Yoshino Period (1336-1392), Kamakura Period (1185-1333) march through the streets.

The procession of this festival begins at the old Imperial palace and travels 2 km to Heian-jingu, which takes about 3 hours. The original 6 columns were expanded to 20 and include 2000 people, 2 oxes and 70 horses. About 1200 carefully reproduced historic objects, including carts, take part in the procession.


From JR Kyoto Station take Bus #5 to "Okazaki-koen bijutsukan Heian Jingu mae". 10 minutes from Higashiyama station on Tozai metro line. Business hours are from 6:00 to 18:00, from February 15 to March 14 and in October - until 17:30, November, December - 17:00.

Image Gallery: Heian-jingu Shrine

Description: Heian-jingu Shrine

Sights Heian-jingu Shrine (平安神宮)
Address Nishi-tenno-cho, Oksazaki, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Phone / Fax Phone: 075-761-0221 / Fax: 075-761-0225
Duration 20Minutes
Business Hours Monday:06:00-18:00
Admission Fee Free admission
Recommended Season
Spring (March - May)
Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
Recommended target Family Couples Groups Infant & Toddler (ages 0-6) Child (ages 7-17) Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller

Map: Heian-jingu Shrine