Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine - Kyoto

Located at 604-8042 Nakagyo Ward, Nakanocho, Kyoto City in Kyoto Prefecture, Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the Kami Tenjin.

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine

Tenjin is a Japanese deity who is referred to as the Sky God. He is also known as the god of scholarship, academics, and learning. Since the shrine is dedicated to Tenjin, it is no surprise to see many students come to the shrine and offer prayers during exam season. 

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine History

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine was founded in the year 1003. The shrine was originally built at Sugawara-in. Since then, it has moved to different sites until its final relocation during the Momoyama Period (1583 - 1600).

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine entrance as seen from Nishiki Market

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine - Kyoto City

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine's nishiki-no-mizu

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine stamps

Presently, Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine receives plenty of foot traffic not only because of the student pilgrims but also due to the fact that the shrine is very accessible from the very popular Nishiki Market.

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine Main Shrine

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine Zuishin warriors guard the shrine

This shrine is fairly small compared to the other famous shrines in Kyoto City. It also lacks an expansive garden. However, what I like about Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine are its numerous features that are said to bring luck if not predict it. 

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine's nade-ushi cow

One example is the nade-ushi cow which is believed to be the representation of the divine messenger of the Japanese gods. It is believed not to only bring luck, it also grants a wish if a particular part of it is rubbed with the right hand. For example, rub its belly if you wish for pregnancy and its head if you wish to improve your memory or prevent headaches. 

Water in the nishiki-no-mizu comes out from the dragon's mouth... Cool!

Another feature of the shrine worth checking is the Nishiki no Mizu which is said to have purifying properties. It is not uncommon to see locals bottling it and bringing it home. 

If you think you need more wishes, then purchase a Daigu Ume (Plum of Great Wishes) for only 500 yen. It's a plum-shaped container that will hold the strip of paper where you can write your wish. You will then hang this on one of the plum trees in hopes that your wish will "ripen" and come to "fruition".

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine Karakuri Omikuji

The Karakuri Omikuji shishi lion

Lastly, another must-see feature of the shrine is the Karakuri Omikuji which is a robotic fortune telling machine which features robotic shishi lions that dance to traditional gagaku court music while fetching a paper with your fortune written on it. This costs 200 yen.

The mechanical priest moves to perform an oharai blessing when you insert a coin. 

In the northern part of the Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine is a small Inari sub-shrine 

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine ema depicting cows which are messengers of the god Tenjin

My brother and I got to visit Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine during Day 5 of our 2019 Japan trip. It was our last stop after backpacking around Kyoto City. It was not in our original itinerary nut the glowing lanterns in front of it attracted us to visit it after exploring Nishiki Market.

Overall, Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine is a perfect side trip when exploring Nishiki Market. Also, if you're into wishes and good fortune then this place is for you. 

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine Admission Fee

It's FREE to explore Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine grounds.

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine Operating Hours

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine is open from 8AM to 8PM.

Why visit Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine?

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine might not be as big as most shrines in Kyoto City but like most, it is full of history. You should include this shrine if you are visiting the Nishiki Market of a nearby destination.

Getting to Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine


Ride bus #205 and board down at Shijokawaramachi Bus Stop. From there, you can reach the shrine on foot.
Travel time: 21 minutes
Fare: 230 yen

Another option is the Karasuma Subway Line. Board down at Shijo Station and follow the signs for the North Ticket Gate and exit via 1. From there the shrine is about 10 -15 minutes away by foot.
Travel time: 16 minutes
Fare: 220 yen




Overall rating


Book your hotel thru KLOOK
Subscribe and get updated with the latest travel articles of The Backpack Adventures

Popular posts from this blog

Blue Coral Beach Resort - Batangas

A Guide to Collecting Eki Stamps

Top 10 Things To Do in Maragondon, Cavite

Quituinan Hills - Albay

Barcelona Ruins Park - Sorsogon

10 Things to Do in Biei

Kamay ni Hesus Shrine - Quezon

Albay Park and Wildlife - Albay

Sirena ng Atimonan - Quezon

Hidden Garden of Vigan - Ilocos Sur