Seimei Shrine

April 13, 2009

by Natsuki Tsutsui ; Atsuko Tsutsumi
~Why Don’t You Go There To Have Your Wish Granted?~

Abeno Seimei, A Powerful Diviner

Abeno Seimei is one of the most famous people in Japan. He was an “onmyo-ji.” Onmyo-ji were diviners and experts in astrology. They observed the stars, and wrote horoscopes. In addition, they were great numerologists and could tell people’s fortunes and predict future events. They could control demons as well.

Abeno Seimei was the most powerful onmyo-ji, and in Japan, there are strange legends about him. For example, he could see devils, and he could also understand birds’ voices. Although he was an enigmatic character, he was quite intelligent, and so he often aided emperors with his power, and influenced public officials and ordinary people.

Long ago, Abeno Seimei’s power was believed by many people. However, until a dozen years or so ago, he was not as famous as he is today. Recently, in Japan, there is great interest in Abeno Seimei. Now, his power is believed by many people once again, and he has become very popular. There are many novels, comics, and movies in which Abeno Seimei is the main character.

Seimei Shrine is a shrine sacred to Abeno Seimei. This shrine is very popular, and every year, it has a lot of visitors. Many people visit from distant places in order to pray to Abeno Seimei because it is said that if you pray to Abeno Seimei, you can recover from illness or injuries by the grace of his enigmatic spirits; you will also be protected from various diseases. The shrine’s reputation has spread around Japan.

Setsubun Festival

Setsubun is the day before the beginning of spring in the traditional lunar calendar, and usually it falls on February 3rd or 4th. It’s an important day at Seimei Shrine because the kanji for setsu in setsubun means “point,” so from setsubun, the dark energy changes to bright energy. On this day, people exorcise demons. This is the Setsubun Festival.

Seimei Shrine has a strong connection with dark and bright spirits. Therefore, Seimei Shrine treasures and celebrates this festival. On this day, people use hitogata (a paper shaped as a human), and they move their defilement to hitogata. Then, they put this paper in front of the god. This custom is popular among local people. At nightfall, many people come to Seimei Shrine with hitogata and with the same number of beans as their age.


Many people visit to pray to Abeno Seimei. Their purposes are not just to pray but also to get charms. In this shrine, the charms are very popular.

There are two reasons why the charms are popular. First is the design. Each charm has a unique design and is very cute, so they are popular among many young women. Second is the power of the charms.  There are 16 kinds of charms. For instance, there is a charm to win against a rival, a charm to improve the management of business or increase academic ability, and a charm to bring romance.

People visit this shrine to pray to Abeno Seimei, and they believe his power will grant their wishes, so they buy a charm. If you have a wish, you can visit this shrine and get a cute yet powerful charm. Abeno Seimei might grant your wish.

Spiritual spots in Seimei Shrine

*Seimei’s Well*

Abeno Seimei created this well using his spiritual powers. If you pay attention to the point from which the water is gushing out, that point faces the year’s lucky direction. So you can get lucky water. You can also drink its water. This well water is believed to relieve any illness.

*The Peach Charm*

In old China, the peach was said to act as a charm. In the Kojiki and Nihonshoki (old Japanese literary collections), there appears a scene in which a peach is used to exorcise demons. This story is also the origin of “Momotaro” an old Japanese tale. Everyone is impure, but if you stroke this peach at the shrine, you might feel that you are cleansed!

The Stone Statue of Shikigami

Shikigami are the spirits that onmyo-ji possess. We can’t see them. This stone statue is set next to a bridge. When Abeno Seimei was living here, his wife was scared of shikigami, so he put them under the bridge. That’s why this stone statue is set next to the bridge. His shikigami will tell the fortune of people who cross the bridge.

As we have introduced, Seimei Shrine has a very interesting history and story. And this shrine is well-known as a shrine that has strong spiritual power. If you go there, you can feel the strong energy that can cleanse you. After you visit there, we think you will be refreshed! So why don’t you go there to purify yourself and have your wishes granted?

Access and Other Information

By City Bus

1. From JR Kyoto Station take the No.9 bus.
Get off at the “Ichijo-modoribashi” bus stop.
It takes about 2 minutes from “Ichijo-modoribashi” by foot.

2. From Hankyu Shijo-Karasuma Station, or from subway Shijo Station take the No.12 bus.
Get off at the “Ichijo-modoribashi” bus stop.
It takes about 2 minutes from “Ichijo-modoribashi” by foot.

3. From Keihan Sanjo Station take either the No.12 or the No.59 bus.
Get off at the “Horikawa-Imadegawa” bus stop.
It takes about 2 minutes from “Horikawa-Imadegawa” by foot.

By Subway

From the Karasuma-Imadegawa subway station, it takes 12 minutes by foot.


AM 9:00~PM 6:00

Admission fee


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