The 京都十六社朱印めぐりKyoto Juuroku-sha Shuin Meguri (Kyoto 16 Shrine Red Seal Tour) is a tour of 16 shrines in Kyoto City. The shrines may not be as famous among tourists as others but they’re just as charming as well as another side of the worldwide-popular city.
Mr. Man probably saw this tour which starts from New Year’s Day until the middle of February every year advertised in the newspaper at the end of 2008; when he suggested participating in it during the New Year holiday in 2009, of course I was happy to take part in it☺. The shrines are found all over the city, so traveling by public transport might take up quite a bit of time; luckily, Mr. Man drove us, so we finished the tour in three non-consecutive days.
The following is a list of shrines that take part in the tour according to the order in which I went:
西院春日神社Saiin Kasuga Shrine
御霊神社Goryou Shrine (別名also called 上御霊神社Kamigoryou Shrine)
吉祥院天満宮Kisshouin Tenmanguu Shrine
熊野若王子神社Kumano Nyakuou-ji Shrine
長岡天満宮Nagaoka Tenmanguu Shrine
わら天神宮Wara Tenjinguu Shrine
The seals can be obtained at the office of each shrine and are ￥300 each. Whichever shrine from which you may start will give you a long paper made from 和紙washi (traditional Japanese paper) with the names of each shrine and a place for the seals.
the sack for the tour in which the paper was presented
the paper after completion of the tour
2009 was the Year of the Ox, so we got this figurine to be displayed for luck throughout the year. Although Mr. Man’s year is the Ox, instead of keeping it, he gave it to his sister.
Whether you’re wanting to visit a new shrine for 初詣hatsumode or in the mood for getting to know shrines that are less crowded but just as interesting as the more well-known ones, the 京都十六社朱印めぐりKyoto Juuroku-sha Shuin Meguri (Kyoto 16 Shrine Red Seal Tour) might be a good tour to try…I wouldn’t mind participating again.☺