The Kifune Shrine is located a bit far from the city center of Kyoto, the shrine attracts a lot of people from all over the world. There is no written record of the Kifune Shrine, so its exact beginnings are unknown. However it is considered that it was constructed before 1,300 according to the shrine’s biography.
Kifune Shrine enshrines the god “Takaokami no Kami” who was considered the god of water and rain. It is in the deep mountain area, so the sacred water head comes from Mt. Kifune. A lot of people come to Kifune Shrine to appreciate the sacred water. However, the shrine is getting famous for not only the sacred water but also matchmaking.
#1. Mizu-Uranai: Fortune-Telling By Water
The omikuji or Japanese fortune-telling paper is sold at most of Shinto shrines in Japan. However, Kifune Shrine has its own unique fortune-telling papers. At first it it seems like there is nothing on the paper, but the message is revealed when dipped it into water. This unique type of fortune-telling can only be found here, so it is very poplar among tourists. It’s 200 yen for one paper, the messages are written only in Japanese.
#2. Mizu Mamori: The Charm of Water
Mizu mamori is a famous charm from the Kifune Shrine. There are three colors to choose from; blue, pink, and white. The message “The water is a source of life. It is the god of giving vitality. If you can get enough vitality, your fortune may improve before long.” is written. The god of water is worshiped at Kifune Shrine, so it is also good as souvenirs. It costs 1,000 yen.
#3. Kibune Momiji Tourou: Red Leaf Festival
Photo Credit: Kyoto-Picture@flickr
There is a 250 meter tunnel surrounded by maple trees between Ichihara Station and Ninose Station. In November, the leaves of the maple trees turn red, and produced a fantastic atmosphere. In addition, the trees are lit up in the night. You can enjoy beautiful scenery of red leaves from the train window. The site will be illuminated after dark, and the train moves slowly between Ichihara Station and Ninose Station, be sure not to miss this beautiful experience. Also, you can see red leaves in the precinct of Kifune Shrine. The maple trees can be seen near Motomiya or the hall of worship, Yui no Yashiro or the middle shrine, and Okumiya or the rear shrine.
#4. Yui no Yashiro: The God of Matchmaking
There is the shrine “Yui no Yashiro” in the precinct. It is about 300 meter walk up a slope along the Kifune river from the the main hall. The shrine is dedicated to the god of matchmaking. Musubi-fumi are sold near Yui no Yasiro. Musubi-fumi are small pieces of paper used for writing your wishes or desires. A lot of Musubi-fumi with wishes written on them are tied to trees, it is said they are link to the gods. They are 200 yen each.
#5. Musubi-Mamori: The Charm for Love
Photo Credit: kifunejinja.jp
Musubi mamori is also another famous charm from the Kifune Shrine. They are shaped like omikuji and there are two colors; blue and pink. This charm is for love or success in relationships. These are recommended for people who need some luck in love. They cost 1,000 yen.
#6. Kawadoko Restaurant: Japanese Lunch on the River
Photo Credit: kibune-fujiya.co.jp
Near Kifune Shrine, there are some places you can enjoy Kawadoko or having a Japanese lunch on the river. In summer, traditional Japanese tatami rooms have been built above the river and you can enjoy a Japanese course meal. Eating lunch and listening to the sound of water is a peaceful experience. Kawadoko is attracting a lot of people, so most of the Kawadoko restaurants will be fully booked during the summer. It’s better to make a reservation beforehand to secure your place.
[map lat=”35.121641″ lng=”135.762907″][/map]
Address: 180 Kurama-Kibune-cho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto
Access: 30 minute walk from Kibune Station
6:00 AM – 8:00 PM (May – November)
6:00 AM – 6:00 PM (December – April)
Website: Kifune Shrine (Japanese)