Nonomiya-jinja shrine in Sagano, Kyoto

This small shrine in a bamboo grove of Sagano area has a long history and is probably the nonomiya referred to in Genji-Monogatari (The Tale of Genji) written 1000 years ago by a court lady called Murasaki Shikibu. The shrine has a unique black torii gateway that is made of logs with bark.

Several gods are enshrined here. One of them are a god of good match and marriage and another is a god of an easy delivery.


Nonomiya literally means something like a field palace. Saio, an unmarried Imperial princess who was selected to serve the god of Ise-jingu shrine, had to stay in a nonomiya for a year to cleanse herself before leaving Kyoto for Ise. New Saio was assigned every time a new emperor acceded to the throne. Saios did not necessarily use a same nonomiya and this place was one of those nonomiyas. The first Saio who used this place was a daughter of Emperor Saga (786-842). The institution of Saio was abolished in the era of Emperor Godaigo (1288-1339) but the nonomiya remained as a Shinto shrine, that is Nonomiya-jinja.

How to get to Nonomiya-jinja

  • 13 to 19 minutes from Kyoto station to Saga-Arashiyama station on JR railway San'in Honsen line. Then 10 minutes on foot.
  • 42 minutes from Kyoto station to Nonomiya bus stop on Kyoto City Bus No. 28 bound for Daikaku-ji or Kyoto Bus No. 71 for Daikaku-ji or 72 for Kiyotaki and 5 minutes on foot (the time of a bus ride may vary due to traffic conditions).
  • 10 minutes on foot from Arashiyama station of Keifuku Railway Arashiyama Line.

Hours and Admission

Free admission.

Photos / Pictures

Click on a photo for a larger image.

The entrance of Nonomiya-jinja
February 16, 2008
Kuroki-torii, the ancient style black-wood torii gateway.
November 17, 2001
The main hall of Nonomiya-jinja shrine.
February 16, 2008
Shirafuku-Inari-sha. A god of an easy delivery is enshrined here.
February 16, 2008
The enshrined in the small shrine in the center of the photo is Nonomiya-Daikokuten, a god of good match and marriage.
February 16, 2008
The moss garden.