There are many shrines to Tenjin, the god of study all over Japan. These “Tenmangu” shrines are very popular in part because they naturally attract many high school students who wish to pass university entrance exams. Of all the Tenmangu shrines in Osaka, Osaka Tenmangu Shrine is the most famous.
Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
Getting to Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
To get to Osaka Tenmangu Shrine, it takes 5 minutes from Osaka Tenmangu Station off JR Tozai Line or from Minamimorimachi Station off Osaka Metro Sakaisuji Line.
However, our recommendation is to get off at Tenma station of JR Osaka Loop Line (Next to Osaka Staion!) and walk down Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street, the longest shopping street in Japan, to Osaka Tenmangu.
It will probably take 20 minutes to walk to Temnagu Shrine, but I think you can enjoy a more authentic Osakan atmosphere on this shopping street since many tourists either do not know about it or choose not to visit this shopping street.
Shrine Grounds of Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
Osaka Tenmangu stands on the grounds of what used to be Daishogun Shrine.
When Emperor Kotoku built Naniwa Palace in 650 C.E., Daishogun Shrine was built to protect the palace for evil spirits. On his way to Dazaifu, Michizane visited Daishogun Shrine. Then, after his death, seven glittering pine trees grew around the shrine. Upon hearing about this unusual occurrence, Emperor Murakami built Osaka Tenmangu around Daishogun Shrine in 949 C.E.
Tenmagu Shrine including Osaka Tenmangu enshrines Sugawara no Michizane, who is famous for the god of study. When he was demoted to Dazaifu in Kyushu from Kyoto, he dropped by many places in Osaka, which is why there are so many Tenmangu Shrines in Osaka such as Domyoji Tenmangu Shrine.
Tenmangu’s honden completely burnt down during the Oshio Heihachiro Rebellion of 1837, but was rebuilt after 1845.
Behind Osaka Tenmangu is Hoshiai Pond [星合池]. This is pond is a local en-musubi spot. If a man and a woman meet on Hoshiai Bridge, they will be able to form a lasting relationship.
There is also a newly built shrine called Koza Shokon-sha, which enshrines the great contributor of the development of Rakugo.