Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Dōmyōji Tenmangū: Osaka’s Hidden Plum and Cherry Blossom Spot

If you want to receive blessings for academic success, visit Dōmyōji Tenmangū (道明寺天満宮) in Osaka‘s Fujiidera City (藤井寺市). The shrine that enshrines the God of Learning, Sugawara no Michizane (菅原道真), has a history of more than 1,400 years (founded in 947). Like most Tenmangūs in Japan, plum blossoms can be found in the shrine’s precinct. In addition, the plum flower is the crest of the shrine!

Plum Blossom Festival (道明寺天満宮 梅まつり)

The plum grove at Dōmyōji Tenmangū is behind the main worship hall. Between mid-February and early March, approximately 800 plums of 80 varieties will bloom. Moreover, a Plum Blossom Festival is held during the plum blossoms season. During the month-long festival, various events are held, including outdoor tea ceremonies.

The Plum Blossom Bonsai Exhibition (盆梅展) is usually held from the end of January to February. On the 25th of February each year, a Plum Blossom Ritual (梅花祭) is held.

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  • Dōmyōji Tenmangū Plum Festival was held from the 8th of February to the 12th of March in 2024.

Note that 300 yen is charged to enter the plum grove if you are a senior high school student or older during the Plum Blossom Festival.

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With 200 cherry trees planted, Dōmyōji Tenmangū is also a cherry blossom spot. The trees lined the approach to the main worship hall. Between late March and early April, it would feel like you are walking in a cherry blossom tunnel!

Furthermore, many lanterns under the trees were made in the Edo period. So, remember to check them out, as they have historical value.

What Else to See at Dōmyōji Tenmangū

Like other Tenmangūs in Japan, you will find a Nade-ushi (撫で牛) statue close to the purification fountain. It is said that stroking the cow statue will bring you the blessing of good health on the body part you touched. So, take the opportunity to make your body healthier!

In the shrine’s museum, you will find items used by Sugawara no Michizane. Among the items, six of them are designated national treasures, including the Blue-and-White Porcelain Inkstones (青白磁円硯). In fact, Dōmyōji Tenmangū is the only shrine in Japan that holds his items.

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Because the God of Learning is enshrined here, there is a Brush Tomb (筆塚) in Dōmyōji Tenmangū’s precinct. Before pencils and pens were introduced to Japan, brushes were used as a writing tool. To show our appreciation towards the old brushes, a Fude Festival (筆まつり) is held on the 25th of April each year. You are welcome to bring your old calligraphy brushes. It is also an event to pray for further improvement in calligraphy.

☛ A Flea Market is held between 9 am and 4 pm on the 25th of each month.
☛ A Handmade Market (手づくりの市) is held twice a year at Dōmyōji Tenmangū. Refer to the Official Website for the next event date.

Dōmyōji Tenmangū Shrine’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • The shrine office is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Getting to Dōmyōji Tenmangū is easy. Take the Kintetsu Minami-Osaka Line (近鉄南大阪線) and get off at Dōmyōji Station (道明寺駅). The shrine is then a 5-minute walk.

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