Visit to the Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto
Visiting the Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto

If you’re up for visiting the Nishiki Market to try delicious tamago (eggs) or buy back some rice, do also check out the Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto. It’s a short walk from the market, and although it’s smaller than other shrines in the older parts of Kyoto, it’s an experience from a culture perspective. I particularly enjoyed reading the wishes of people written on little wooden cutouts.

From observation, the places of worship in Japan largely center around Shinto Shrines and Buddhist temples. The difference is that Shintoism is based on worship to several gods (kami, also known as spirits of natural elements and one’s ancestors) and Buddhism is focused on Buddha. If you’re new to Japan, the main aesthetic difference between the two places is the reddish-orange torii gates for Shinto Shrines, while Buddhist temples typically come with incense burners and statues of Buddha. When praying at Shinto Shrines, people also tend to clap twice, while prayers are silent at Buddhist temples.

ablution Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto
The place for ablution, ie. to wash oneself.

The temple comes with  a little hot spring well of sorts, for believers to wash themselves before praying. Apparently, the water is from a hot spring and is tested to be clean enough to drink. I wouldn’t advise it given the colour of the well.

The place of worship.
wishes Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto
It was interesting to see the various wishes hung up on the wall. Most of them were about wealth, success in one’s studies and career, and good health.
Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine kyoto
The design is most interesting.
wishes Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto
Wish for health and a ‘gradual’ increase in wealth.
shiba cafe Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto
There’s a shiba cafe right outside the temple! Unfortunately it was closed when we were there or we might have just popped by.  

The Travelling Squid’s Take

We visited the Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto at 10am in  the morning, and I like that it wasn’t too crowded. Shintoism is a new branch of religion for me, and it was interesting to walk around the shrine. That said, if you’re pressed for time, I’d encourage you to visit other shrines and temples in  the order parts of Kyoto as they are bigger and are consolidated in the same location. That way, you get to see as many shrines as possible.


The Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto