"Ayako Tenman-gu Shrine" which is said to be the predecessor of Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine

On the 25th of each month, "Tenjin-san no Ichi (market)".

It is an annual festival held at Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine, and various stalls, including antiques and plants, line the grounds.

Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine is the well-known birthplace of Tenjin worship.

Do you know "A shrine where Tenjin worship originated" which is said to be the predecessor of Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine?

It is "Ayako Tenman-gu Shrine" which enshrines Michizane Sugawara as the enshrined deity just like Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine.

Ayako is TAJIHI no Ayako who served as Michizane's wet nurse.

Michizane was relegated to Dazaifu (The present Kyushu region) on the charge of not guilty and died in despair.

After his death, Ayako received Michizane's oracle, "Build a shrine in Ukon no Baba and rever me".

However, it is said that Ayako had no power to build a shrine building at that time.

Therefore, Ayako built a small hokora in her garden in Saikyo Shichijo (The present Nishinokyo) , and revered Michizane.

This is said to be the origin of Ayako Tenman-gu Shrine.

Later, Ayako moved Michizane's mitama (spirit) to Ukon no Baba.

Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine is now known as the head shrine of the approximately 12000 Tenman-gu and Tenjin-sha shrines across the country.

It is TAJIHI no Ayako who triggered the foundation of the shrine.


Ayako Tenman-gu Shrine is counted as one of the 25 Rakuyo Tenman-gu Shrines.

It's a 10 minutes walk north of JR Kyoto Station, but it's usually quiet.

It is also revered as the guardian god of 文子 (Ayako, Fumiko) and people whose names include "Aya".

People with these names are eligible to participate in the "All Japan Fumiko-kai".

Behind the main shrine, there is a "Koshikake ishi (seat stone)" where Michizane stopped by and sat down when he was relegated to Dazaifu.

It is interesting that there are 4 places in Kyoto City including this area, such as a branch shrine of Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine.


At Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine, the "Shimai Tenjin" is held on December 25.

This is a seasonal tradition of December, the ending of the monthly "Tenjin-san no Ichi".

In addition, Ayako Tenman-gu Shrine holds "Oharae Hitogata Shono" on December 31.

Next year's zodiac sign is the ox, so why don't you visit Tenjin's ox earlier?

Ayako Tenman-gu Shrine
400 Tenjincho, Ainomachi-dori Hanayacho-sagaru, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto City
10 minutes walk from JR Kyoto Station

Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine
​Bakurocho, Kamigyo-ward, Kyoto-city, Kyoto
​Close to Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine Mae City bus stop

Recommended experience