Resurrected from 1100 Years Ago
Heian Jingu Shrine
A Symbol of Kyoto's Renaissance
The Great Torii Gate
Heian Jingu was built in the year 1895 to commemorate the 1100th year since Kyoto became Japan's capital city. Before Heian Jingu was built Kyoto had been devastated by the destruction done to the city in the battles fought at the end of the Edo period. When the official capital was moved up to Tokyo, the politicians were followed there by many of Kyoto's prominent merchants, dealing a large blow to local industry. Many citizens still felt passionately about their city and bound together in one of the first efforts of its kind in Japan to build Heian Jingu as a project symbolizing the vitality of education, culture, industry, and tourism in Kyoto. Heian Jingu was meant to embody the great magnitude of culture and art that had developed in Kyoto over the 1000 years which it was the capital of Japan and demonstrate it to the rest of the country.
The giant torii gate which stands just outside of the grounds of Heian Jingu was built in 1928 in celebration of the enthronement of the Showa Emperor.At that time it was the largest in Japan.D7
An Impressive Gateway to Kyoto's Past
Heian Jingu is a replica of the Heian Imperial palace built at 5/8ths of its original scale. Before you is almost the exact same scenery as a place where governmental functions and many historical events took place almost 1200 years ago.
The walls of the shine are purposefully constructed to block out views of the modern world so that from the moment you take your first step inside until the moment you leave you are truly in another time and place.
Heian Jingu is the only currently standing structure in Japan built in the old tradition of ancient palaces. The roof tiles are a signature green color only permitted for use in buildings with a connection to the emperor, signifying its importance to the nation.
A garden with a different appeal in each of the four seasons
While the quality of water in Kyoto in ancient times was good, there wasn't a large amount of it flowing though the city and because of this gardens in Kyoto were designed to only use a small amount of this precious resource.
However, once the capital moved to Tokyo one of the revitalization projects that the city of Kyoto undertook was the construction of the Lake Biwa Canal. Not only would this provide Kyoto with a much needed additional source of water, but with hydraulic power for use in factories, as well as a water route to carry goods easily by boat.
The renowned garden architect Ogawa Jihei VII was able to utilize this new source of water to design the beautiful ponds and water features that Heian Jingu's gardens are known for.
The view of the pond from the Taihei-kaku Bridge, which was relocated from the Kyoto Imperial Palace, is splendid. However, there are benches scattered throughout the garden inviting one to take a moment to sit and enjoy the scenery for awhile. We encourage you to find your favorite spot in the garden.
Heian Jingu's gardens are spectacular in every season but spring is especially beautiful with the cherry blossoms in bloom.
The Immortality of Kyoto.
Heian Jingu prides itself on remaining forever unchanging throughout the years.
It is difficult to maintain this stance in an ever-changing world however it is the ideal that Heian Jingu endure as a emblem of the city to visitors no matter when they return, may it be 30, 50, or even further into the future. This desire is surely the same as the citizens who banded together all those years ago in order to build Heian Jingu as a symbol of Kyoto's rebirth.
Kyoto endured as the capital of Japan for over a thousand years, and with its great inheritance of art and culture is a very special place to the Japanese people even now.
Heian Jingu Shrine
Opening Hours: 6:00~16:30 (Subject to change depending on the season - Please check website.)
97 Nishi Ten-no-cho, Okazaki Sakyo-ku, Kyoto CityView in Google Maps
Nearest Station: Kyoto Subway - Higashiyama Station (10 minute walk away)
Nearest Bus Stop: Kyoto City Bus - Okazaki Koen / Bijutsukan, Heian Jingu-mae (5 minute walk away)
Entrance Fee: Free entrance to the shrine. Entrance to the gardens is 600 yen for adults and 300 yen for children.