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With a history of more than 1,300 years, it is one of the oldest shrines in Japan and the head shrine of about 2,000 water god shrines in Japan. It is also known as Kyoto's best spot for matchmaking.
Located along the Kibune River at the foot of Mt. Kibune in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, the shrine is the head shrine of about 2,000 water god shrines in Japan, and enshrines the deity Taka-okamino-kami, who controls water. The exact date of establishment is unknown, but there is a record of the rebuilding of the shrine in the 6th year of Hakuho (677), during the reign of Emperor Temmu, making it one of the oldest shrines in Japan with a history of over 1,300 years. Since the Kibune River is the source of the Kamo River and the shrine is located just north of the Imperial Palace, it has been highly revered and protected by successive Imperial Courts as a deity protecting the water source of the capital. It is said that the origin of the ‘ema’ (a votive picture horse) is that Emperor Saga dedicated a live horse to the shrine to pray for rain to fall or stop.
The precincts of the shrine are made up of three enclaves: the main shrine, the rear shrine, and the Yui shrine. Clear mountain water springs from the stone walls in front of the main shrine, and is revered as sacred water. The famous "water fortune-telling" is fortune-telling that is unique to the god of water, and when you dip it in the sacred water, the characters come to life. You should definitely try it as a memento of your visit to the shrine.
The rear shrine is the place where Kifune Shrine was founded, where Goddess Tamayori-hime is said to have arrived on a yellow boat. Surrounded by a deep forest, the area has a solemn and mysterious atmosphere that will make you straighten up. Underneath the main shrine is a large hole called the Dragon Hole, which is known as a sacred and powerful power spot.
Then there is the middle shrine, the Yui shrine, which sits in the center of the precincts. The deity enshrined here is Iwanagahime-no-mikoto, the god of matchmaking. There is an anecdote that the poet of the Heian period, Izumi Shikibu, visited the shrine and prayed for her husband's reconciliation, which was granted, making it one of the most famous matchmaking spot in Kyoto.
The main shrine, which enshrines the water god and Taka-okamino-kami.
The rear shrine, which is the shrine's founding site and has a dragon pit.
The Yui shrine, which is the best matchmaking spot in Kyoto.
- Name in Japanese
- Postal Code
- 180 Kuramakibunecho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
- Open every day
- 6:00am-8:00pm (varies by season. Goods shop 9:00am-5:00pm)
(1) Take Kyoto Bus No. 33 from Kibuneguchi Station on the Kurama Line of the Eizan Electric Railway, get off at Kibune Bus Stop, and walk 5 minutes.
(2) 30 minute walk from Kibuneguchi Station on the Eizan Electric Railway Kurama Line.
- Credit Cards
- Not accepted
- Official Website
- Official Website (English)