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【Osaka Tenmangu Shrine and Tenjin-sai Festival】Hatsumode and praying for passing the exam at Tenma Tenjin!


Speaking of the shrine in Osaka, where is it? When we ask the Osaka people, most of them will reply “Tenma-no-Tenjin-san”. It is “Osaka Tenmangu Shrine”. It is a shrine representing Osaka, and Sugawara no Michizane, who is also known as a god of learning, is enshrined. The beginning of Osaka Tenmangu Shrine, It dates back to the Nara period.
It is said that Emperor Kotoku had enshrined Daishogunshain this place as a god that protects the northwest of the capital in Hakuchi 1st of the Nara era(650).And in the Heian era,in the first year of the Engi era(901), Sugawara no Michizane came to visit the Daishogunsha on his way to Dazaifu. However, Sugawara no Michizane died in Dazaifu.
50 years later, in the 3rd year of the Tenryaku(949), seven pine trees grow overnight in front of the Taishogun Shrine, and the tips and branches of trees shine at night. Upon hearing this, Emperor Murakami built a shrine in this area and enshrined Michizane’s goryo. Since then, over a thousand years!Osaka Tenmangu Shrine is being continued still now.
tenjinsan1That Taisyogun-Sya now enshrines the God which is deeply involved with Osaka Tenmangu as the auxiliary shrine in one of the precincts.
We will introduce you to Osaka Tenmangu Shrine, which is very popular for the New Year’s visit, prayer for school success, shrine visit, and Shichigosan.

The main shrine

tenjinsan2The stateliest main shrine was rebuilt in the Edo era. In the record written in the Edo era, it was attacked by the seven fire, and it was burned down at the big fire in Tenpo 8(1837) due to the balltle of Heihachiro Ohsio. The current main shrine was rebuilt 6 years later in 14 (1843).
The day when we took the picture was November and many families were visiting to celebrate the growth of their children which is called “Shichigosan”.The meaning of “Shichigosan” is On November 15, when boy are 3 and 5 years old and girl are 3 and 7 years old, they visit ujigami(a guardian god or spirit of a particular place in the Shinto religion) and so on.


Umehana-den is a memorial building of the Great Festival held in Showa 3rd (1025), the throne hall of the architecture representative of a nobles’ residence in the Heian era and using the old materials of Ise-Shrine. It is designated as a registered cultural asset of the country in July 1999.
This Umehana-den is the stage of the Shinto-ceremony which inherits the tradition of Japan. You will feel you are surrounded by the dignified air.


tenjinsan3After having the Shinto ceremony at Umehana-den and go to the main shrine through the Watari-dono to announce the marriage to the god(the ceremony of Watari-dono). The bride and groom are having a sacred ceremony and walking together for the first time toward the new life.


tenjinsan4Sansyu-den which is in the east side of the main hall is the building dedicated and donated by the Scenic Protection Committee of Tenmangu, in October 1910(Heisei 1st). It is designated as registered cultural asset of the country in July 1999 as well as Umehana-den.When you are walking in the precincts, you will see the sight of neighboring people casually coming to pray as if it is the part of their lives. You will understand why the people in Osaka are calling ”Tenjin-san” of Tenma” with affection and familiarity! Osaka Tenmangu shrine is still familiar without change although that has a long history.
Please come and visit it!


tenjinsan5tenjinsan6During the examination season, many students come to pray for success in entrance examinations. Next to the Ema is the Toryumon Gate, and at the Hatsutenjin Plum Blossom Festival in January, there is a walk-through visit from the Toryumon Gate, where examinees can pray for passing through a difficult barrier. This gate has the ancient story such as saying; “Most of the carps ,under the waterfall upstream of the Yellow River in China, cannot climb this waterfall, if it can climb up, it will become a dragon.” It is said that if you pass through this gate, you will surely get promoted.

Hoshiai no Ike(Hoshiai Pond)

tenjinsan7Furthermore, when entering northeast from Hanjyou-tei, you will see “Hoshiai no Ike(Hoshiai Pond)” called “Turtle Pond”.On the banks of the pond, there are facilities in Shinto shrines for enshrining the spirits of deceased ancestors and shrine parishioners. At the early spring, plum trees which were planted around the pond will bloom with vivid pink color.
tenjinsan8The “Hoshiai Bridge” over the pond is called “Aikyo Bridge”, and the men and women who met on this bridge were said to be united. It was said that since this time the match was held here so, it got this name. The event called the Hoshi Ai Tanabata Matsuri(Hoshiai Star Festival) held on the day of Tanabata on July 7 every year.
There might be a good meeting!

Another pray for success for entrance examination

tenjinsan9As you cross the Hoshiai Bridge, you can see the shop of “Suberan-Udon(thick Japanese noodles)” called “Soujyu” that is indispensable for the pray for success for the entrance exam.“Suberan” means “not fail in the examination”
tenjinsan10The Udon noodles here are a little thick, there is a cut in the noodles! That’s right! The noodles do not slip even when lifting noodles. “Nor fail in the exam.” They are particular about the powder of the noodles and, it does not cut out from the incision, and it is chewy and tender. “Tenjin Kitune Udon” for 400 yen is recommended menu. It is Udon noodles in a hot soup with deep fried tofu. And the other menu is also reasonable.
tenjinsan11You can buy the souvenir of the Udon, so please send it to the candidates far from Osaka. There is also the “Suberan” sticker for praying for success. “The miraculous power of language”. “Suberan” means “not fail in the examination”
tenjinsan12The god for the success of the entrance exam is enshrined just beside the shop, so let’s visit here. It seems to be God of women.

Tenma Tenjin Hanjyo-Tei

tenjinsan13You can find the place that is crowded with many people when going north through Osaka Tenmangu Shrine.
It is the entertainment hall of Rakugo of the Kyoto,Osaka area which is called “Tenma Tenjin Hanjyo-Tei”. The hall of the comical storytelling which had revived for the first time in 60 years has continued to be full house introduced to draw a full house since it opened in 2006. Since the famous Rakugo storytellers belonging to the Rakugo Association appear on a daily basis, why not stop by after visiting the shrine?

Tenjin Festival

tenjinsan14Finally, we will introduce “Tenjin Festival” in Osaka Tenmangu Shrine which can be said as the summer tradition in Osaka. Along with the Tokyo·Kanda Festival, Kyoto·Gion Festival, it is one of the three biggest festivals in Japan. Every year, the eve of the festival is July 24th and the day of the festival is July 25th, with about 1.3 million people visiting. The origin of Tenjin Festival is very old, it is said that it is the Shrine ritual which was held in 951(two years later when Osaka Tenmangu Shrine was built). It is a prototype of the transferral of a sacred object by boat. The halberd was floated down the Okawa(river) and they sets up the temporal shrine for that year in the place where it drifted and reached.
Every year, on July 25, the two big events, the “Riku-togyo” land procession and the “Funa-togyo” boat procession on the Okawa(river) of portable shrines, are staged. The potable shrines cruise in order to present the prosperity of Osaka to the holy spirit of Sugawara no Michizane, and to pray for the further prosperity.
It is the fireworks to decorate the last of the main events.

When the “Funa-togyo” boat procession begins and in the evening arrives, they start the fireworks which are dedicated to God. Fireworks that are launched from 2 sides of Okawa(river) about 3000 shots.
the “Funa-togyo” boat procession on the Okawa-river, the fireworks and the view from the side of the river seem to lead to a fantastic world.
Please visit the Tenjin festival. To everyone in the whole country, everyone in the world, Osaka festival is the best!

And one more thing! Tenjin Festival Girls’ Mikoshi

It is a famous event of Tenjin Festival, “Tenjin Festival Girls’ Mikoshi” that has been held since 1981.Only women carry Mikoshi(a portable shrine).
The women selected by the general application carry Mikoshi with a weight of about 200 kg, while traveling around the Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street on July 23, the day before the Eve, go to the Osaka Tenmangu shrine. It makes the Tenjin Festival gorgeous. “Beppin(Pretty Women)” of Osaka carry the Mikoshi, “Tenjin Festival Girls Mikoshi”. Please check the selected “Beppen(Pretty Women) of Osaka firmly with your own eyes. Surely it will be addictive to you!

It is not an exaggeration to say that “Tenjin Festival” is the festival which represents the water city of Osaka. It is a festival that has been continued with Osaka Tenmangu Shrine until today, supported by many people, through the history of twists and turns.
Please feel Osaka by enjoying the festivals and history by all means!

Osaka Tenmangu Shrine parking lot

tenjinsan15People coming by car are also okay. There is a parking lot in Osaka Tenmangu Shrine.
tenjinsan16Above picture is the entrance of the parking lot beside the main gate of Osaka Tenmangu Shrine.
tenjinsan17If the parking lot of Tenmangu Shrine is full, there is a coin parking lot just behind Tenmangu Shrine.

Osaka Tenmangu Shrine Access Map

Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
Take the Tanimachi Subway Line to Minami-morimachi Station or JR Osaka Tenmangu Station and walk for 5 minutes
Address:1-8, Tenjinbashi 2-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0041
Phone Number:06-6353-0025
Address:1-34 Tenjinbashi 2-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0041
Phone Number:06-6352-4874
Tenjin Festival
Every year Yoiyama(Eve):July 24, Honmiya(Main Events):July 25
Tenjin Festival Girls’ Mikoshi
Every summer July 23, the day before the eve of the festival

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Introduction of writer

I am doing video production and event production for 30 years in Osaka. I love okonomiyaki! I will introduce the unknown secret of Osaka.


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