Takenobu Inari Shrine is not for tourists. Located near the Sanjo-dori shopping street. It is a shrine with deep roots in the community where locals visit from time to time.
It is a small shrine but has a long history. Yoshisuke Fujiwara, Minister of the Right, founded Takenobu Inari Shrine in 859 during the early Heian period.
The area around the shrine was home to the residences of the nobility and the central government offices of Heian-kyo. In an old map of the Heian period (794-1185), a large area from Sanjo to the south near the shrine was “the site of Enmeiin Temple of the Fujiwara Clan”. Enmeiin was a medical institution established by the Fujiwara Clan to ensure the health and longevity of the people. And this shrine was the guardian deity of Enmeiin Temple.
In later times, a man named Takenobu Fujiwara worshipped the shrine with great devotion and worked to promote the shrine’s divine authority. Because of that, the shrine was named Takenobu Shrine, a name that has remained unchanged to this day.
The founder, Yoshinori Fujiwara, was the head of the Fujiwara clan and was the godfather of his family. Therefore, some locals still seek advice from this shrine for naming their newborn babies.
The shrine has a legend about Sakamoto Ryoma and his wife, Oryo. Sakamoto Ryoma was an activist against the Shogunate. At that time, there was a shogunate prison to the south of the shrine. Oryo’s father was a prisoner there. That fact might be the reason for this story.
Nearby spots from Takenobu Inari Shrine
Shinsen-en was a garden pond adjacent to the Daidairi (Imperial Palace) soon after the construction of the Heian-kyo Capital. Compared to the past, the garden area is smaller and is now a temple.