BLOGLiterary Calendar2021.01.15

"Mikayu Shinji" and "Okayu Matsuri" based on historical events in the Heian period

Red Azuki beans are said to have power to drive away evil spirits.

It has been eaten in Kyoto since the Heian period.

For example, June 30, the "Nagoshi no harae" day.

On this day, we eat a Japanese sweet called "Minazuki" which is made by scattering Azuki beans on a triangular Uiro.

There is also a custom to eat Azuki-gayu on January 15 of Koshogatsu.

It is based on the tradition that eating Azuki beans can remove evil spirits.

Kamigamo Shrine (Kamowakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine) hosts the "Mikayu (rice porridge) Shinji Rituals".

A Kayu tsue (stick) made from "Shikimi" tree is placed before the altar along with Azuki-gayu (Azuki bean rice porridge).

People pray for the prevention of disasters throughout the year.

Shimogamo Shrine (Kamomioya-jinja Shrine) also holds "Okayu (rice porridge) Sai Festival".

Azuki-gayu (Azuki bean porridge and soybean porridge) are offered to the altar along with vegetables and fruits.

They pray for a rich harvest and the security of the nation's people.

At Shimogamo Shrine, Azuki-gayu is given to visitors after festivals every year.

In 2021, the ceremony is held only for festivals, and Azuki-gayu is not given.

I would like to cook Azuki beans at home, hoping that the world will be calm in spring.

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Speaking of Azuki beans, there is "Kyukeidokoro (teahouse) Saruya" in the precincts of Shimogamo Shrine.

A teahouse of "Azuki-dokoro Hosendo" with its main store north of Shimogamo Shrine.

Sweets and light meals which are said to have been devised with the chief priest of Shimogamo Shrine are provided.

On the way back from visiting the shrine in the cold season, I will want to taste the flavorful "Ryoen (matchmaking) Zenzai" made of Tanba Dainagon Azuki beans.

This is Zenzai that is inspired by the subordinate shrine "Aioi-no Yashiro Shrine in the precincts.

It is said that there is a blessing in matchmaking.

I feel my body and heart warm when I eat Ryoen Zenzai.


Kamigamo-jinja Shrine (Kamowakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine)
339 Kamigamo Motoyama, Kita Ward, Kyoto City
3 minutes walk from Kamigamo Misonobashi City Bus stop

Shimogamo-jinja Shrine (Kamomioya-jinja Shrine)
59 Shimogamo Izumigawa-cho, Sakyo-ku Ward, Kyoto City
3 minutes walk from Shimogamo-jinja Mae City bus stop, or 6 minutes walk from Tadasunomori City bus stop

Kyukeidokoro (teahouse) Saruya
59 Shimogamo Izumigawa-cho , Sakyo Ward , Kyoto City (Precincts of Shimogamo-jinja Shrine)
2 minutes walk from Tadasunomori City bus stop

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