Kifune Shrine

A power spot that brings good luck in marriage

Kifune Shrine is located at the source of the Kamo River flowing through Kyoto,
Kifune Shrine is the head shrine of about 500 Kifune Shrines in Japan, which are dedicated to the God of Water.

The shrine is located in a thickly forested gorge between Mt,
In front of the shrine flows the Kibune River, which is located upstream from the Kamo River.

The date of construction is unknown, but it is believed to be after the capital was moved to Heian-kyo,
Since the relocation of the capital to Heian-kyo, the shrine has been revered by the imperial family as a deity that protects the source of water.

Whenever there has been a period of drought or long rains, Shinto rituals are held to pray for rain or to stop it from falling,
As the god of water, the shrine is widely believed in by people involved in agriculture, sake brewing, and other industries related to water.
The shrine is widely worshipped by people related to water, such as farmers and sake brewers.

The birthplace of ema (votive picture horses)

Since ancient times, emperors have dedicated a black horse in times of drought and a white horse in times of long rains,
In times of long rains, they dedicated a white horse to prayer,
Later, they replaced it with a live horse,
Later, instead of live horses, they dedicated "itadatema," which were colored on horse-shaped boards.

This was the original form of today's ema (votive tablet),
Kibune Shrine is said to be the birthplace of the ema.

In addition, pictures of horses drawn on wood or paper were used as substitutes for the ema,
In the Edo period (1603-1867), the custom of dedicating small ema (votive tablet) to shrines became widespread.
The custom of individuals dedicating small ema to shrines became widely popular in the Edo period.

God of marriage

The shrine is also known as a god of marriage because Izumishikibu, a female poet of the Heian period
The shrine is also known as the god of marriage because Izumishikibu, a female poet of the Heian period (794-1185), visited the shrine and her prayer for reconciliation was fulfilled,
In recent years, the shrine has also gained popularity as a power spot.

A poem written by Izumishikibu during her visit to the shrine is included in the Gojikigo waka anthology,
The poem that Izumishikibu wrote during her visit to the shrine is included in the Gojikigo waka anthology and is inscribed on the monument.

She visited Kibune Shrine when she was forgotten by her man (her husband, Yasumasa Fujiwara),
"When I was forgotten by a man (her husband, Fujiwara no Yasumasa), I visited Kibune Shrine and saw fireflies flying in the Mitarashi River.
"When I think of things, even the fireflies in the stream
I see the souls of the fireflies in the stream
(Translation: When I am troubled by my love, the fireflies flying in the stream also seem to be the soul that has escaped from my body.
I see that the fireflies flying in the stream must be souls that have escaped from my body.

Omikuji fortune-telling with divine water

Select one of the seemingly blank sheets of paper,
Float it in the sacred spring on the temple grounds to see if it is good or bad.
The "mizuyu mikuji," or fortune-telling by divine water, is very popular,
The shrine attracts many young worshippers.

On the other hand, the shrine is also believed to be a god of divorce and a god of magic,
The shrine is also famous for the Ox Festival.

The shrine is divided into three parts

The shrine pavilions are divided into three parts: the main shrine, the yuni-yashira (middle shrine), and the okumiya (inner shrine).

Yuni-yashira is located between the main shrine and the inner shrine,
It is located 300 meters upstream from the main shrine.
Because of its location, it is also called Nakamiya.

The shrine is dedicated to the deity Bancho Hime-no-Mikoto and is believed to be a god of marriage.
In the past, people used to tie the leaves of the slender grasses on the shrine grounds together to wish for a match,
However, now, to protect the plants, people are required to write their wishes on the "Knots" given at the main shrine and tie them in a designated place.
However, due to the protection of the plants, the visitors are now required to write their wishes on the "Knots" given at the main shrine and tie them at a designated place.

The Okumiya Shrine is located 700 meters upstream from the main shrine,
This used to be the main shrine.

Kibune Riverbed

Along the Kibune River, there are dozens of ryokan and restaurants in the vicinity of the Company,
In summer, wooden kawadoko (riverbeds) are set up on the Kibune River,
Ayu (sweetfish) dishes are served.

The area is one of the most famous places in Kyoto for its autumn foliage.

It is a sightseeing spot where visitors can enjoy the time of Minamoto no Yoshitsune and Benkei.
Many tourists visit the area together with Kuramadera Temple.


Kifune Shrine
Official Site
180 Kurama Kifune-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Telephone number
Hours of operation

(5/1-11/30) 6:00-20:00
(12/1-4/30) 6:00-18:00
The gate closes at 20:00 on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.


Open all year round

Admission fee

Free of charge

Parking lot

10 cars for the main shrine and 15 cars for the inner shrine (parking fees apply)
There are few parking lots in Kibune.
Public transportation is strongly recommended.
The road is narrow, making it difficult to get to and from oncoming cars, and it is quite crowded, especially during the summer season.


30 minutes on foot from Kibune-guchi Station on the Eizan Electric Railway Line
5 minutes on foot from the Kibune stop of the Kyoto Bus

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