Kyoto Diaries – Kitano Tenmangu, Kamogamo Jinja

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Spring?  Well, not quite – but we’re getting there.

It’s an all-Shinto day today, with some miscellaneous Higashiyama shots sandwiched on either side.  And a chocolate-almond pancake from Cafe Rhinebeck pancaked in the middle.

I’ve been to many Tenjin Shrines, including this one, Kitano Tenmangu (the head Shrine) but given that the Ume are in bloom, a return visit seemed in order.  They’re actually past their prime already – plum blossoms really early – but still pretty spectacular.  Sadly the Jinja had the best groves walled off in a “pay-only” area, so no shots of those.  Tenjin (in addition to dressing to the nines and putting the moves on young girls, apparently) was known to be especially fond of plum trees and cows, and they’re always in evidence at all of his Shrines.

The other main body of photos here is from Kamogamo Jinja, which was a first-time visit for me.  That’s one of the luxuries of having a bit of breathing time – I can go a little further afield and see some time-consuming but worthwhile places.  Kamogamo is the sister Shrine of Shimogmo Jinja, which I’ve seen and photographed before.  That one is a bit further South and perhaps grander with its grove of majestic cedars and zelkovas, but Kamogamo is the more idyllic of the two, set in a glade next to a bubbling stream.  The two mounds symbolize two trees that were said to welcome spirits on the site.  These are very, very old Shrines – some of the oldest in Kyoto (Shimogamo dating to the 6th Century, and Kamogamo the 7th).

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5 comments

  1. e

    What's not to appreciate in plum trees and cows? Two out of three likes to agree upon :).
    And to all the culture you had to add almond pastries cum chocolate and a green topper glimpse.
    This posts are such a treat, Enzo. Even more now that you can take some more time to savour your surroundings.

  2. Y

    Living in Kyoto… My dream!

    I don't know how many more of those posts I can take before I die of jealousy… If you just want to finish me off quickly, make a post about Arashiyama 😉

    You've probably already been there but… There's a really nice circuit with a beautiful little hike and tones of amazing things to see. I can't remember the name of it, but I snapped this map, by now you can probably read it:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/463564/misc/japan.jpg

    If you haven't been there yet, def. check out…

  3. Y

    I figure you'd probably been there already but… Second day? Come on… OK, fine… never mind… 😉

  4. 2nd day of what was like my 5th time in Kyoto.

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