Seimei jinja shrine in Kyoto / difference between shrines and temples (京都市・清明神社/神社とお寺の違い)

Abeno Seimei

Who is Abeno Seimei?

This man named Abeno Seimei is well known as a very powerful astronomer and an exocist lived in the 10th century in Japan.

Seimei jinja shrine in Kyoto is dedicated to him and many Japanese people visit there to ward off evil spirits and to receive a good luck.


What is this peach for?

According to the Ying Yang theory, you can leave your bad luck on peaches by rubbing them.


Abeno Seimei and the peach


Gobosei (Five-pointed star)

The Gobosei-shaped well

Gobosei, or five-pointed star shapes can be found in this shrine precinct.

This shape symbolizes five elements which are considered to comprise the earth :water, fire, wood, metal and soil.

In addition, Gobosei implies that these five elements influence and depend on each other.

Gobosei on lanterns

A guardian lion dog and a lantern with Gobosei


What is the difference between shrines and temples?

Shrines are for Shintoism which is a Japanese indigenous religion.

Temples are for Buddhism which was imported to Japan from China through Korea in the 6th century.


Unlike Buddhism, Shintoism does not have scriptures or founders.

Main objects of worship in Shintoism include: Nature, Mythological deities and people.

For example, the object of worship in Abeno Seimei jinja shrine is a person(Abeno Seimei) from Japanese history.