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New Year Preparations at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Kitano Tenmansu (北野天満宮) is a shrine to the god of learning, Sir Sugawara Michizane (菅原道真), and is very crowded with visitors especially during the New Year’s holiday season. In my childhood, my parents often took me there, especially at the time of my entrance examinations.

In the premises, there are a lot of statues of cows which are deemed to be messengers of the god. According to my parents, you will be good at study if you make a wish while rubbing the head of the cow, and then rub your head. Since everyone does the same thing, the cows’ heads are all shiny and smooth.

Kitano Tenmangu is now busy in preparation for the coming New Year. At the main gate, there hung a gigantic Ema (絵馬, votive tablet) with an illustration of boar which is the zodiac sign of the next year.

The New Year is getting close and I feel restless too.

Akane Kibune
Kyoto Expert Certification 1st Grade

5 mins. on foot from Kitano Tenmangu, Kyoto City bus



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