It was good 15 mins bike ride from my new place to Kitano-tenmangu through Onmae street, you get to see big Torii gate sitting there.
I got there at around 11, and it was already fairly crowded with locals, travelers and school kids.
I couldn't help comparing all the shops or vibes with Toji one but I guess it's different in good/bad ways. For example, if you get in to the Kitano shrine through the central gate, you will see a lot of food stalls that you can usually find at any other festivals - which means they are not local based. I'm not against them but the more local the better to me!
Although the market place at Kitano is very very spacious, so it was easier to check the shops with less crowd because of the location too which is not as convenient as Toji.
|sekihan manju was a big hit, DELISHHH!|
|cute massage break|
And after strolling around the market, I decided to go check the shrine itself which is quite big and pretty famous for the patron saint of students, who flock here from all over the country to pray for success in examinations, especially high school and university entrance exams.
And I noticed that they have now special opening for "Ao-momiji" (fresh green maple leaves) time, and I'm glad I tried it. (Entrance fee is 500yen.)
We can easily imagine that those maple trees would be absolutely amazing in Autumn when they change the color into red/orange, but it might be a good thing that the shrine is not well known for the autumn color? at least not as well as some other sites.
I highly recommend you to check the flea market (25th every month) for your cultural experience and maybe souvenir shopping, and Kitano-tenmangu for quality quiet time in nature!