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.