Heian_Shrine


Heian Jingu Imperial Shrine

Jingu refers to a Shinto shrine associated with the Japanese Imperial House.

The Heian Shrine is one of the only (if not the only) modern shrine in Kyoto (most are hundreds
of years old), and while it doesn’t have the history associated with the structure that other shrines
do, it is something special in its own right. The buildings are a 2/3 scale replica of the Heian period
(794-1185) Imperial Palace in Kyoto. It has significant Chinese influences (in the Heian period
the Japanese welcomed Chinese culture). The building of this shrine at the end of the 19th
century revitalized Kyoto, which had stagnated after the capital was moved to Tokyo.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Japan Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

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There are 21 Galleries in the Photoshelter Japan Collection
— Heian Jingu is in the following Gallery (Direct Link) —

Heian Jingu, Kasuga and Sumiyoshi Taisha

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HeianShrine_Torii_9630


Heian Shrine Torii Gate 9630

One of the largest Torii gates in Japan, it leads to the Heian-Jingu Shinto Shrine located in Kyoto.
The Heian Shrine was built in 1895 to celebrate the 1100th anniversary of the founding of Heian-kyo
(the old name for Kyoto). It is dedicated to the first and last emperors that reigned from Kyoto.

Several of the images on this page were prepared from the full-sized versions, thus the smaller text.

HeianShrine_Otenmon_9631


Heian Shrine Otenmon 9631

The Otenmon (Main Gate) reproduces a gate in the original Imperial Palace (Daidairi)
from 794, when Emperor Kammu moved the capital from Nara to what is now Kyoto.

The buildings in the shrine are 2/3 scale replicas of structures in the original Imperial Palace,
and are painted in the original vermilion. In 866, an arson fire burned the original Otenmon,
set by the official who controlled the gate as part of a political plot. A new noble was placed
in control of the gate, and it was rebuilt in 871. It stood until the Onin Rebellion in 1467.

HeianShrine_BlueDragonTower_9632


Heian Shrine Blue Dragon Tower 9632

The East Tower beside Daigokuden (the Great Hall of State in the original palace).
Its name is Soryu-ro, which means Blue Dragon and a god that stands in the east.
The identical tower in the west is called Byakko-ro (White Tiger, and the god that
stands in the west). These were two of four gods of a religion that came from China.

The towers in the center and at the four corners were lookout towers for sentries.

The original Imperial Palace was destroyed by fire in 1227 and was never rebuilt.

HeianShrine_Daigokuden_9634


Heian Shrine Daigokuden 9634

Daigokuden was the Great Hall of State in Daidairi. Here, it is the Main Hall of the Shrine.
Its three buildings are Gaihaiden (the Front Shrine), the Inner Sanctuary and Main Sanctuary.
The Main Sanctuary is where the souls of Emperor Kammu and Emperor Komei are enshrined.
Emperor Kammu (b. 737, r. 781-806) was the Emperor who moved the capital from Nara to the
Kyoto area and built the city and Palace, and Emperor Komei (b. 1831, r. 1847-1866) was the last
Emperor before the Meiji Restoration, who laid the foundation for the Meiji Restoration and the
ending of the power of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the policy of Japanese isolationism.

The Heian Shrine is built on the site of the original Palace, but between its destruction in 1227
and 1895, when the Heian Shrine was built, the site had been built over and no trace of Daidairi
remained. Knowledge of the palace was based on contemporary literary sources, diagrams
and paintings. There have been excavations in the last 30 years to unearth the palace.

HeianShrine_Daigokuden_RoofDetail_9639


Heian Shrine Daigokuden Roof Detail 9639

Several of the images on this page were prepared from the full-sized versions, thus the smaller text.

HeianShrine_BlueDragon_Sakura_9635


Heian Shrine Blue Dragon Sakura 9635

This is a very highly-detailed image (740 KB).

HeianShrine_BlueDragonTower_9638


Heian Shrine Blue Dragon Tower 9638

Soryu-ro, the Blue Dragon Tower.

HeianShrine_Gakuden_9640


Heian Shrine Gakuden 9640

The shaded roofline of the Gakuden Storehouse, partially obscured by furiously blooming sakura.

HeianShrine_Sakura_9643


Heian Shrine Sakura 9643

I am providing this image without watermark.

HeianShrine_BlueDragonTower_9633


Heian Shrine Blue Dragon Tower 9633

The white walls, vermilion pillars and wood trim, and green tiled roofs of the shrine and Daidairi
are a Chinese style, as is the architecture. This building style had been used since the 7th century.

HeianTorii_Sunset_9721


Heian Torii at Sunset 9721

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Japan Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 21 Galleries in the Photoshelter Japan Collection
— Heian Jingu is in the following Gallery (Direct Link) —

Heian Jingu, Kasuga and Sumiyoshi Taisha

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Return to the Shinto Shrines index page

Shrines

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