The cherries at the Hirano Shrine, Kyoto

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The Hirano Shrine, KyotoDuring the cherry blossom season, the Hirano Shrine, with its numerous cherry trees, is definitely one of my favorite spot in Kyoto.  This is the place where I discovered the existence of green cherry flowers!  Yes, this shrine is special.  It is not a mere Jinja, but it is a “Jingu”, title of high class Shrine of Japan designated by the Emperor.  And it was an Emperor (Emperor Kazan in 985 A.D.) who gave the order to plant this garden with a lot of cherry trees.

The Hirano Shrine, KyotoToday, there are about 400 cherry trees with some 50 different varieties of cherry.  And every year, from March till the end of April, each visit is different because each cherry variety blooms at a different time.

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The Hirano Shrine, KyotoThis shrine has been the site of a cherry blossom festival  (Ôka Matsuri) annually since 985. The long history of festivals at the Shrine began during the reign of Emperor Kazan, and it has become the oldest regularly held festival in Kyoto. Each year, the festival begins in the morning with a ceremony at the mausoleum of former Emperor Kazan. In the afternoon, a procession travels from the shrine into the neighboring area and back.


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How to get to the Hirano Jinja

Hirano Shrine Access

To get to the Hirano Jinja by bus from Kyoto Station, take the #205 or #50 to Kinugasa Komae.

From Sanjo Keihan station, take the #15 and get off at the same stop.

From Shijo Omiya (Hankyu Railways), take the #55 to the same stop.

Address: Hirano Miyamoto-cho 1, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8322

The Hirano Shrine is within easy walking distance to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Waratenjin and Kinkakuji Temple.

Ouka Matsuri (fête des cerisiers) au temple Hirano, Kyoto, Japon, Avril 2014

Emperor birthday, Tokyo, Japan
Maiko Taiken, Kyoto, Japan