We visited Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in the northwest part of Kyoto. It is a great place to visit as there are many things to see here and activities to participate in. We waded through the water, lighting candles for prayer along the way. I got my fortune from the water gods, and we saw a monkey show!
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine was built in 947AD in honor of a scholar and politician named Sugawara no MIchizane. It was the first time in Japanese History that a person was enshrined as a deity. He is known as the god of agriculture, honesty and sincerity, dispelling false accusations, of the performing arts, and the god of academics. This is the main shrine out of over 1,200 that are dedicated to him throughout Japan!
The Mitarashi Festival is a ceremony where one carries a candle down a small river and offers it to temporary altar to pray for good health. I purchased a small candle for 300 yen and entered the river of purifying water. It was a bit windy and my candle kept blowing out. Luckily, there were many larger candles along the way for me to keep relighting it.
In addition to the candle ceremony, Kitano Tenmangu had a water fortune. I purchased a slip of paper with my hidden fortune. Then I placed it in the water to reveal my fortune.
Near the entrance of the shrine there was a crowd gathered around this special performer. A Japanese snow monkey, or Macaque, was doing tricks for treats.
I am fascinated with these little guys. Check out my other posts about the Macaque here:
For more information, in Japanese only I'm afraid, visithttp://nisukekikaku.com
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