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  • Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Let’s Welcome the Warm Spring at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine!

Let's-welcome-the-warm-spring-at-Kitano-Tenmangu-Shrine!

Hi guys, we are nearing the end of the winter season and we are getting ready for the warm spring to come. I hope you guys enjoyed the winter!

As the cold winter is heading towards the end, I want to talk about events that you can enjoy during this season at one of the most attractive tourist spots in Kyoto; the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

Kitano Tenmangu

The reason why Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is the place you must visit, is that there is an interesting story behind this famous shrine, and they hold various events throughout the year, and the scenery is beautiful.

First of all, let me explain a brief history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine was built to dedicate Sugawara Michizane, who was involved in the Shinto God of education. Since he was exiled by his political opponents and suffered from harsh hardship from them, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine was built to appease his revengeful spirit.

Because Sugawara Michizane was involved in the Shinto God of education, a number of students visit Kitano Tenmangu to pray for their success in their studies. If you visit Kitano Tenmangu during the exam period or school trip seasons, it might be crowed with students.

 

Plum_trees_Kitano_Tenmangu
Regarding events at Kitano Tenmangu, there is a tea ceremony, called Baikasai that is held every year on the 25th of February. What is special about this tea ceremony at Kitano Tenmangu, is that Maiko and Geiko attend the tea ceremony. On top of that, there are approximately 2,000 plum trees that bloom from February to March. So, if you visit Kitano Tenmangu on the 25th of February, you can experience the special tea ceremony while  enjoying the beautiful scenery of 2,000 plum trees in bloom.

 

北野天満宮夜間

Additionally, when it becomes around November or December and when the autumn foliage season is at its peak, Kitano Tenmangu opens its garden to the public where a number of Japanese maple trees can be seen throughout the garden. What is also exciting is that the garden is lit up in the evenings. Imagine that you are surrounded by beautiful Japanese maple trees that are lit up in the evening. How romantic it is!
If you have a chance to visit Kyoto during these two seasonal periods, please do not miss the opportunity to enjoy various events at Kitano Tenmangu.

 

フリーマーケット

If you are not able to visit Kitano Tenmangu during the two periods, you don’t need to be disappointed. There is one more event held every month, which is the flea market. A number of vendors gather at Kitano Tenmangu to sell various things, such as antiques, crafts, clothes, and so on. If you get hungry while walking around Kitano Tenmangu, you can grab some festival foods such as fried chicken, Yakisoba and other delicious foods at the flea market.

Since there are various events and beautiful scenery you will definitely love Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, as it is mentioned above. Please visit Kitano Tenmangu Shrine if you have a chance. I definitely recommend you to visit there!

 

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
Hours: April ~ September  (5:00 ~ 18:00)
October ~ March     (5:30 ~ 17:30)
Closed: No closing days
Fees: Free

Plum Grove
Hours: Early February ~ late March (10:00 ~ 16:00)
Fees: 700 yen

Maple Tree Garden
Hours: early November ~ mid December  (10:00 ~ 16:00)
Autumn illumination (Dusk ~ 20:00)
Fees: 700 yen

Flea Market
Hours: 25th of every month (6:00 ~ 21:00)
Fees: Free

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  • convenience stores

Things available at Japanese convenience stores

Convenience Stores

Today, I am going to talk about how amazing Japanese convenience stores are.

If you visit Japan, you can easily find a number of convenience stores in the streets such as Seven Eleven, Lawson, Family Mart and so on.

These convenience stores in Japan are literally convenient.

Lot of services are available in the convenience store.

Let’s take a look at what kind of services Japanese convenience stores have.

 

Onigiri

 

First of all, they have various kinds of rice ball and cup noodles that you would easily find.

In addition, it seems that lunch boxes in Japanese convenient stores are useful for busy businessmen.

On top of that, they have coffee and doughnut set, fish cakes, fried chicken and so on.

So, if you are hungry and don’t have enough time to eat, why don’t you grab something light at the convenient stores?

 

Bill

Another service available at convenient stores that amazed me is the fact that you can pay your electricity, gas or the internet bills there!

If you are too busy to go to a bank, you can just stop by the nearby convenient store and pay your bills there.

Imagine how convenient it is!

 

Ticket Machine

Nowadays, a number of people are shopping online and make the payments through credit card.

However, if you don’t have a credit card, it might be inconvenient to enjoy online shopping.

In such cases, you shall pay at convenient stores using this machine above.

① Just follow all the procedures for payment

②receive a bill cum receipt from the machine

③Take the bill to the cash register and complete your payment. Its that simple!

On the top of that, you can even buy tickets for airplanes, trains and buses at the convenient stores.

 

ATM

During your stay at Japan, if you are out of cash and need to withdraw money immediately, you can drop by the closest convenient store and withdraw money by using the 24-hour ATM (Automated Teller Machine).

Since it is in operation for 24/7, even if it is the midnight and all of sudden when you need money, its very handy to use the nearest convenience store ATM to withdraw money.

Furthermore, the convenience stores in some big cities even take credit cards.
However, there is a certain fixed service charges you might have to pay if you use your credit card. If there isn’t an ATM and you don’t mind paying the service charges, it is definitely convenient to pay using your credit card.

 

wifi

Moreover, a number of convenience stores in Japan have “Free Wifi Service”.
Accessing wifi, however, requires registration for the very first time. Once you register, you can use wifi at the convenience stores for free any time.

In addition to that, a toilet is equipped at most of the convenience stores in Japan. The toilet is open for general customers. However, using a toilet and free wifi at convenience stores without buying anything is considered as a rude behavior.

Therefore, if you are really in desperate need to use a toilet or free wifi. At the convenience stores in Japan, let’s use them after buying at least a small item such as a candy. And is considered polite to give in a word to the store staffs before  using the toilet.

 

Package

One more amazing service that Japanese convenient stores take is courier service.

Usually, a simple courier services are taken over by the post offices.

However, if you are in Japan and the post office is far away from you, you can make use of the shipping service at convenient stores.

 

copy machine

Lastly, there is a copy machine equipped in almost all convenient stores.

During your stay in Japan when there is a need to make photostat copies, you shall go to the convenient stores and use the copy machine equipped there.

The price depends on what type and size of the paper you are going to use, but it’s quite a reasonable price.

 

As you guys can see, it seems that Japanese convenient stores have various services available.

I am convinced as to why it is being called a “convenience stores”.

When you are in need of those services in Japan, let’s solve all those problems at the nearest convenience store!

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