This is an ancient shrine that was built to protect the capital from the south when the capital was transferred to Kyoto in 794, and has been the target of faith as deity for directional protection. The shrine pavilions are elegant, unified in Heian Period tones. The Rakusuien Garden overflows with the taste of the gardens of Haru-no-yama, Heian, Muromachi, Momoyama, and Jonan Rikyu. It is also called the "Flower Garden of the Tale of Genji.” The shrine is also famous for an event called Kyokusui-no Utage, in which cups are placed into the flow of a stream, traditional Japanese waka poetry is composed, and sake is drunk. It is a seasonal tradition of the old capital held twice a year (in spring and autumn) and displays the luxury of the royal dynasty in its heyday.
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