Heian Shrine

Last updated
Heian Shrine
平安神宮 (Heian Jingu)
Heian-jingu daigokuden.jpg
Main Hall (Daigokuden) Heian Shrine
Affiliation Shinto
FestivalReitaisai (April 15th)
Location97, Okazaki-Nishi-tenno-cho, Sakyō-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto Prefecture, JAPAN, 606-8341
Japan location map with side map of the Ryukyu Islands.svg
Shinto torii icon vermillion.svg
Shown within Japan
Geographic coordinates 35°01′00″N135°46′56″E / 35.01667°N 135.78222°E / 35.01667; 135.78222 Coordinates: 35°01′00″N135°46′56″E / 35.01667°N 135.78222°E / 35.01667; 135.78222
Style Shichigensya-Nagare-zukuri (七間社流造)
Date establishedMarch 15th, 1895
Icon of Shinto.svg Glossary of Shinto
Heian Shrine Torii Gate, Kyoto, Japan Heian Shrine Torii Gate.JPG
Heian Shrine Torii Gate, Kyoto, Japan

The Heian Shrine (平安神宮, Heian-jingū) is a Shinto shrine located in Sakyō-ku, Kyoto, Japan. The Shrine is ranked as a Beppyō Jinja (別表神社) (the top rank for shrines) by the Association of Shinto Shrines. It is listed as an important cultural property of Japan.



Main gate (Otenmon) Heian-jingu otenmon1.jpg
Main gate (Ōtenmon)
Castle in the corner (Soryuro) HeianShrine.jpg
Castle in the corner (Sōryūrō)
Lake at Heian Shrine Lake at Heian Shrine, Kyoto.jpg
Lake at Heian Shrine

In 1895, a partial reproduction of the Heian Palace from Heian-kyō (the former name of Kyoto) was planned for construction for the 1100th anniversary of the establishment of Heian-kyō. The Industrial exposition fair (an exhibition of development of Japanese and foreign cultures) was held in Kyoto that year, where the replica was to be the main monument. However, failure to buy enough land where the Heian Palace used to stand, the building was built in Okazaki at 5/8 scale of the original. The Heian-jingū was built according to designs by Itō Chūta.

After the Exhibition ended, the building was kept as a shrine in memory of the 50th Emperor, Emperor Kanmu, who was the Emperor when Heian-kyō became the capital. In 1940, Emperor Kōmei was added to the list of dedication.

In 1976, the Shrine was set on fire; and nine of the buildings, including the honden, or main sanctuary, burned down. Three years later, the burned buildings were reconstructed with money collected from donations. [1]


The architecture design was a reproduction of the Chōdōin (Emperor's palace in the former eras) in 5/8th scale (in length). The large red entrance gate is a reproduction of the Outenmon of the Chōdōin. The architecture of the main palace mirrors the style and features of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, [2] the style from the 11th–12th century (late Heian Period). The Shrine's torii is one of the largest in Japan.


The Japanese-style garden takes up about half the land area (approximately 33060 m2). Renowned gardener Ogawa Jihei VII, also known as Ueji, created the garden over a 20-year period. The water used in the ponds comes from the Lake Biwa Canal. Species otherwise rare in Japan such as Acheilognathus cyanostigma , the Yellow pond turtle and the Japanese pond turtle live around the ponds. Visitors may feed the fish and turtles with food sold around the ponds.


Annual festivals celebrate the memory of Emperor Kōmei (late January) and Emperor Kanmu (early April). [2]

On October 22, Heian-jingū hosts the Jidai Matsuri , [1] which is one of the most important festivals of Kyoto. The procession of this festival begins at the old Imperial palace, and includes carrying the mikoshi (portable shrines) of Emperors Kanmu and Kōmei to the Heian-jingū.

The Shrine is also used for traditional Japanese weddings as well as concerts. It is rare for a modern concert to be held at a historic site like the shrine, but merging modern and old culture in Kyoto has become a trend.

Around the Shrine

Adjacent to the Shrine is Okazaki Park, where visitors can learn about culture. The Shrine is surrounded by the Kyoto Prefectural Library, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Kyoto Kaikan, and the Kyoto City Zoo.

See also

Heian-jingu's torii Heianjingu torii.jpg
Heian-jingū's torii


  1. 1 2 Nussbaum, "Heian jingū" in p. 303 , p. 303, at Google Books
  2. 1 2 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Heian jingū" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp. 302–303 , p. 302, at Google Books

Related Research Articles

Emperor Antoku Emperor of Japan

Emperor Antoku was the 81st emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1180 through 1185.

<i>Jidai Matsuri</i>

The Jidai Matsuri is a traditional Japanese festival held annually on October 22 in Kyoto, Japan. It is one of Kyoto's renowned three great festivals, with the other two being the Aoi Matsuri, held annually on May 15, and the Gion Matsuri, which is held annually from 17 to July 24. It is a festival enjoyed by people of all ages, participating in its historical reenactment parade dressed in authentic costumes representing various periods, and characters in Japanese feudal history.

The current capital of Japan is Tokyo. In the course of history, the national capital has been in many locations other than Tokyo.

Iwashimizu Hachimangū

Iwashimizu Hachimangū (石清水八幡宮) is a Shinto shrine in the city of Yawata in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.

Isonokami Shrine

Isonokami Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in the hills of Furu in Tenri, Nara prefecture, Japan. It is one of the oldest extant Shinto shrines in Japan and has housed several significant artifacts.

Atsuta Shrine

Atsuta Shrine is a Shinto shrine traditionally believed to have been established during the reign of Emperor Keikō (71-130) located in Atsuta-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture in Japan. The shrine is familiarly known as Atsuta-Sama or simply as Miya. Since ancient times, it has been especially revered, ranking with the Grand Shrine of Ise.

Kamo Shrine

Kamo Shrine is a general term for an important Shinto sanctuary complex on both banks of the Kamo River in northeast Kyoto. It is centered on two shrines. The two shrines, an upper and a lower, lie in a corner of the old capital which was known as the "devil's gate" due to traditional geomancy beliefs that the north-east corner brought misfortune. Because the Kamo River runs from the north-east direction into the city, the two shrines along the river were intended to prevent demons from entering the city.

Asama shrine

An Asama shrine is a type of Shinto Shrine in Japan centered on the worship of the kami of volcanos in general, and Mount Fuji in particular.

Kamigamo Shrine

Kamigamo Shrine is an important Shinto sanctuary on the banks of the Kamo River in north Kyoto, first founded in 678. Its formal name is the Kamo-wakeikazuchi Shrine.

Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine in Japanese, is the common name of an important Shinto sanctuary in the Shimogamo district of Kyoto city's Sakyō ward. Its formal name is Kamo-mioya-jinja (賀茂御祖神社). It is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan and is one of the seventeen Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The term Kamo-jinja in Japanese is a general reference to Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine, the traditionally linked Kamo shrines of Kyoto; Shimogamo is the older of the pair, being believed to be 100 years older than Kamigamo, and dating to the 6th century, centuries before Kyoto became the capital of Japan. The Kamo-jinja serve the function of protecting Kyoto from malign influences.

Katori Shrine

The Katori Shrine is a Shintō shrine in the city of Katori in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is the ichinomiya of former Shimōsa Province, and is the head shrine of the approximately 400 Katori shrines around the country.

Hokkaidō Shrine

The Hokkaidō Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. Sited in Maruyama Park, Chūō-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, the Hokkaido Shrine enshrines four kami including the soul of the Emperor Meiji. A number of early explorers of Hokkaidō such as Mamiya Rinzō are also enshrined.

Hirano Shrine

The Hirano Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Kyoto. This shrine is known and popular for its gardens and many trees.

Hiyoshi Taisha

Hiyoshi Taisha is a Shinto shrine located in Ōtsu, Shiga, Japan. This shrine is one of the Twenty-Two Shrines. Hiyoshi Shrine, also known as Hiyoshi jinja (日吉神社) or Hie jinja.

Akama Shrine

Akama Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. It is dedicated to Antoku, a Japanese emperor who died as a child in the Battle of Dan-no-ura, which occurred nearby in 1185. This battle was important in the history of Japan because it brought an end to Genpei War in which the Minamoto clan defeated the rival Taira clan, and ended the Taira bid for control of Japan.

Umenomiya Shrine

Umenomiya Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Ukyō-ku in Kyoto, Japan.

Shiramine Shrine

Shiramine Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Kamigyō-ku, Kyoto

Minase Shrine

Minase Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Shimamoto, Osaka


Commons-logo.svg Media related to Heian-jingū at Wikimedia Commons