Sunday, July 5, 2015


The Heian-jingu has a relatively short history compared with other temples and shrines in Kyoto. It was built in 1895 and commemorates the first and last emperors who reigned from the city (Emperor Kammu 737-806, Emperor Komei 1831-1867). Heian is the former name of Kyoto.

A giant torii gate marks the approach to the shrine and is one of the largest I have ever seen. The main building of the temple grounds are a partial replica of the original Imperial Palace from the Heian period.

The garden at the shrine covers about half the property and is rather large. It is partially inspired by Chinese gardens that would have been popular during the Heian period. There are several ponds within, including the central Seiho Pond and the Green Dragon Pond. These two ponds are linked together by the “Dragon Stepping Stones.” There is also a covered bridge, known as the “Bridge of Peace,” which is topped with a phoenix.