An imperial family related shrine, one of the most popular spots in Kyoto for viewing cherry blossoms
Hirano Shrine is located in the northwest of Kyoto, a few hundred meters from the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. The shrine was built in 794, when the capital was moved from Nagaoka-kyo to Heian-kyo, and has long been associated with the imperial family and the royal family.
Today, it is best known for its cherry blossoms. Since 985, a cherry blossom festival has been held annually at Hirano Shrine. It is believed that the first such festival was held during the time of Emperor Kayama.
There are 400 cherry trees of about 60 varieties in the precincts of the shrine, and the shrine is crowded in spring for night cherry blossom viewing and the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Except cherry blossom season, the precincts of the shrine are quiet, allowing visitors to relax and enjoy the shrine architecture. From the large torii gate at the entrance, visitors enter an alley with beautiful red lanterns, followed by the religious architecture of the Kasuga-zukuri style, the same as that of the Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara. The moss-covered thatched roofs are also very beautiful.
Address : 1 Hirano Miyamotochō, Kita-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 603-8322
Access : 5-minute walk from Kitano-tenmangu Shrine
Hours : 6:00 to 17:00
Admission : Free