Kitano Tenman Shrine in Kobe

Locating up on the hill of the foreign residence area back in the old days in Kobe city center, Kitano Tenman Shrine stands out as a traditional structure in an area filled with European-style houses. The Kitano Tanman Shrine is one of the major Shinto Shrines where people make wishes particularly for “Success in Examinations”.

Kitano Tenman Shrine worships Sugawara no Michizane (菅原道真)who was a scholar, poet and politician during the Heian Period (794-1185) of Japan. He is highly regarded as an excellent poet and now revered as the God of Academics in Shinto, or commonly known as Tenman-Tenjin (天滿天神). He was a high-ranking government official but got demoted and exiled to Daizaifu in Fukuoka Japan where he passed away. The Kitano Tenmangu in Koyoto was the first and remain the main shrine built over 1,000 years ago to worship this enshrined “God of Academics”. The second most popular Tenman Shrine is the Daizaifu Tenmangu which was built over his grave in Fukuoka Japan. Many students and parents come to make wishes before the examination periods.

Today, more than 12,000 shrines in Japan are dedicated to Sugarwara no Michizane. This one in Kobe City was built when a military leader moved from Kyoto to Kobe in 1180.

Kitano Tenman Shrine 神戶北野天滿神社
Visiting Kobe city during spring time, the full blossom cherry trees behind this main gate makes it an attractive spot to check out.
Kitano Tenman Shrine 神戶北野天滿神社
The set of steep stairwell was shaded by some pink cherry trees. Beautiful!
Kitano Tenman Shrine 神戶北野天滿神社
The first hall in sight is also a place where wedding ceremony is held.
Kitano Tenman Shrine 神戶北野天滿神社
One of the highlights of the shrine is this city view and the famous landmark in Kitano district in Kobe city: Weathercock House.
Kitano Tenman Shrine 神戶北野天滿神社
The main hall is further up the hill. The ox sculpture is one of the main features of the Tenman Shrines. There was a saying that Michizane was born in the Year of Ox. The endurance nature gives strengths and luck to the people who touch it.
Kitano Tanman Shrine in Kobe 神戶北野天滿神社
Complete your visit by making a wish by writing on a Ema, the wooden wishing plagues that you may buy from the shop.
Kitano Tanman Shrine in Kobe 神戶北野天滿神社
There is also a Shrine for Agriculture behind the orange red gates.
Kitano Tanman Shrine in Kobe 神戶北野天滿神社
This is the photo spot on the way down when leaving the shrine.
Kitano Tenman Shrine in Kobe 神戶北野天滿神社
Address of Kitano Tenman Shrine: 3-12 Kitano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo Japan.
Transportation: Around 20 minutes walk from Sannomiya Station in Kobe.

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