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Kifune Shrine

Kifune Shrine (Kifune-jinja) is a shrine located in the ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto, dedicated to the deities of abundant harvest, marine safety, and romantic fulfillment. It’s known for its lush green landscapes and vibrant red torii gates, exuding a mystical beauty particularly on rainy or snowy days.
Kifune Shrine has been traditionally revered as a water deity and is nationally famous as a shrine dedicated to the god of water. Therefore, it is considered a god who divines weather and rainfall, and it is believed that the practice of water divination (mizu-ura) started here. Additionally, Kifune Shrine is located in a mountainous area surrounded by forests, a bit away from the city of Kyoto, making it a place where the richness and mystery of nature are combined.
The path to the shrine consists of beautiful stone steps adorned with vibrant red torii gates and lanterns, allowing visitors to enjoy the beauty of each season. Particularly in early summer, hydrangeas bloom in profusion, captivating visitors. Moreover, the autumn foliage is magnificent, and the winter snowscape is renowned for its beauty.
Kifune Shrine comprises three shrines: the first, second, and third shrines. Each enshrines different deities, and there’s a pathway of about 700 meters between the first and second shrines.
Near the shrine, there are old Japanese restaurants lined up along the Kifune River. On the terraces called “kawadoko”, you can enjoy seasonal dishes while listening to the murmuring of the river. Especially in the summer, it’s cool and is the most popular time of the year.
At Kifune Shrine, there’s also a unique fortune-telling method. It involves a special piece of paper on which characters appear when submerged in water. Because this can be divined on the spot, it’s a fun memory for many visitors.
Kifune Shrine attracts many visitors throughout the year with its beauty and mystique. When visiting Kyoto, please make sure to visit Kifune Shrine.
The history of Kifune Shrine is very old, believed to have been founded in 90 BC. This is an ancient part of Japanese history, and the mystique cultivated over this long history is still passed down to the present day.
The main deity of the shrine is “Takitsuhayano Mikoto”, the god of water. For an agricultural nation like Japan, water is very important, and Kifune Shrine, which enshrines the god of water, has been deeply revered by the people since ancient times. This shrine is also known as a god of romantic fulfillment and match-making, so it’s particularly popular among young couples and women.
Kifune Shrine is especially considered a power spot in Kyoto, providing healing and comfort to its visitors with its natural environment and deep history. In particular, the clear water flowing from the precincts of the shrine is regarded as sacred, and by cleansing their hands with this water, visitors can purify their bodies and minds.
Another feature of Kifune Shrine is the beauty of the surrounding natural environment. The shrine is located in a deep forest, and the serene atmosphere and beautiful natural scenery are exquisitely blended. The approach to the shrine is adorned with flowers of the four seasons, and its beauty captivates the visitors. Especially, the hydrangeas of early summer and the autumn leaves are spectacular, allowing visitors to feel the atmosphere of each season.
The adjacent Kifune River is also known for its beauty. Along the river, there are traditional Japanese restaurants, and in summer, visitors can enjoy meals while listening to the babbling river and cooling off. This scenic view can be said to symbolize the beauty of Japan.
Visitors can also draw a unique fortune-telling slip called a “water fortune”. When the fortune slip is soaked in water on a clear dish, the answer appears. This unique experience makes visiting Kifune Shrine even more memorable.
With these features, Kifune Shrine is a popular spot visited by many tourists from both inside and outside Japan. The space where history, nature, and culture are exquisitely blended is worth visiting at least once.

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