Kifune shrine(Kifune-jinja), garnered a huge following as it was the source of water for Kyoto during ancient times and it is still strongly associated with water spiritually as well. Enshrined here is the God of water, Takaokami, the son of the Goddess Izanagi-no-mikoto. His mother, Izanami-no-mikoto, had originally given birth to the God of fire, whose flames tragically killed her during childbirth. His father then divided the god of fire into three Gods, one of which became Takaokami.
Water extinguishes fire, which is a metaphor for purifying one’s blood and believed to be part of the water God’s purpose.
Water is also the source of life and it is believed that the second God created from the God of fire was the Blue Dragon, God of the valley of darkness. The Dragon’s legend was born when water started gushing little by little from the bottom of a pond.
Kifune shrine consists of three main shrines scattered along the riverbank: the Hongu (main hall), the Yui-no-Yashiro (also known as the Nakamiya or inner hall), and the Okumiya (back hall). From ancient times, it has been transcribed as Kibune, meaning the spiritual root, as it is believed to be origins of the spiritual power “Ki.”
At almost any shrine, you’ll find “Ema,” or wishing plaques that literally mean “horse picture.” The plaques take their name from a rain ceremony performed here by Emperor Saga in which he sacrificed a live horse. You’ll also find water fortune telling, where you can have your omikuji read by floating an object on the surface of the Gojinzui pond and reading the characters that appear. Now, let's visit these three temples along the Kibune river.
180, Kurama Kibunecho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, Japan
Temples/shrines ，Attractions，Spiritual sites
Open Year Round
Eizan train, get off at Kifuneguchi 30 minutes on foot
Kyoto Bus, get off at Kifune, 5 minutes on foot from the stop
※The written notice and information on this page are as of the date of publication. Please refer or confirm the latest information of each spot on individual introduced website.