Seimei Jinja is in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City, on the west side of Kyoto Gyoen, along Horikawa Street. Although small in scale, this shrine is actually so famous that every Japanese person knows its name. Why? In the 1980s, the person it commemorates, yin-yang master Abe no Seimei, was the subject of a wildly popular novel. During the Heian period, yin-yang masters were government officials who could manipulate the stars through inyoudou, the art of yin-yang. In the novel, Abe no Seimei is depicted as the most powerful practitioner of this incredible art. Later, the book was made into a manga and movie, and this cool figure, who battled vengeful spirits and demons with mysterious magic, became familiar to children and adults alike.
Passing through the torii gate facing Horikawa Street, Master Abe no Seimei's deep-edged "Return Bridge" (Modoribashi) is directly on the left.
A statue of Abe no Seimei on the left side of the main temple. What was he like, you ask? Those interested should check out the manga or movie for more information.
On the right side of the main temple stands the akuyokemomo or "Peach that Wards Off Evil" and a sacred camphor tree which partly conceals the building. In yin-yang folklore, the peach was supposedly used as an amulet.
The camphor tree is estimated to be three hundred years old. If you place your hands on it, you can feel the power of this huge tree.
Abe no Seimei is connected to the pentagram. There are star marks scattered in every corner of the shrine. At the "Seimei-Sai"(Seimei Festival) in September, men clad in happi coats with pentagrams on their backs carry a shrine to pump up the festive spirit.
So how about it? Seimei Jinja is a shrine set apart from the rest. We recommend it to those curious and to those Kyoto connoisseurs who think they've seen it all.
806-1 Seimeicho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto
|Open||9:00a.m. - 6:00p.m.|
|Access||2 minute walk from City Bus Stop IchijoModoribashi Seimeijinja-mae 2 minute walk from City Bus Stop Horikawa Imadegawa|