What is Baika Festival
This is the anniversary of Michizane Sugawara's death that is enshrined in Kitano-tenmangu.
The record says in 1109 A.D was already holding this festival, means more than 900 hundred years history.
Originally, it was a votive event but after Shogunate Hideyoshi Toyotomi hold a huge tea ceremony in the temple, Maiko (Geisha) hold an open air tea ceremony. This festival annually has visited successive empress as custom. The festival was called with different name but after Meiji Period (1868-1912), it calls Baika festival as offering plum blossom (Baika).
Michizane Sugawara loved plum blossom and there are many stories about Michizane sugawara and plum blossom; He made a famous plum poem, After his demotion, the plum tree missed him and moved to his new place, etc. So the crest for the shrine is based on a plum blossom and there are more than 1500 plum trees, 50 spices in the land which the shrine owns.
The tea ceremony hold in front of Osankomon open space and 30 Maiko will attend you with multicolored beautiful Kimono.
There are chair and table space. The both lines are full of people but as you know the standing space will wait less time. The seat space is easier to take photo of Maiko and she will make tea in front of you.
It cost 1500 yen but it is low price if you consider the location (full of plum blossom), season (comfortable), and situation (mire case a Maiko makes tea in out side). You should not miss it.
- Nijo Castle
- Maiko (Geisha)
Historical, custom basis, georaphical, cultural stuff of the Kyoto :)