Feb. 14, 2019 UPDATE

Fantastic autumn illumination event at Kifune shrine

Kifune Shrine may be a bit far from the center of Kyoto, but the shrine is incredibly beautiful during the autumn leaves season.
Erika[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

We were in Kifune shrine to see a lantern event called “Kibune-momiji-toro” held every November. Kibune is the sightseeing spot where beautiful nature can be seen, but it’s a bit far from Kyoto city. Summer is always busy with people visiting for kawadoko, the restaurants placed on the river.

Kibune is also famous for autumn leaves, and lighting up event takes place in autumn. All over this area, including Kifune shrine, are covered by light of lanterns. The lights make those maple trees bright. There are more to do, enjoying a meal, shopping, visiting shrine, and viewing scenery from the train. This event is highly recommended to fully enjoy Kibune’s autumn!

▼Click here for more details about the event



We are heading to Kibune

We are heading to Kibune! We have to change the train at Keihan “Demachi-yanagi” station to Eizan railway. You can see autumn leaves lit up from the dark window when passing through maple trees on the both side of the train. The path is called “Momiji Leaf Tunnel” for a limited time. The light in the car is turned off as running the tunnel.


The car “Kirara” has special seats facing window. Maple trees are all yours.

illuminated place

After arriving Kibune, 5-minute bus traveling. Now we are at the illuminated place. Maple trees are lit up and lanterns give off faint light at certain intervals. Kifune shrine is down this wonderful road.

souvenir shops

Restaurants and souvenir shops are on the way. You can have something you can take to walk at some places, never gets you bored. As the area is chillier, it is good to walk with Ama-zake, the hot beverage made from sake lees.

Kifune shrine

We made it after walking some 15 minutes!

We look amazed…

We look amazed…

Looking at….

fantastic with illumination

The well-known approach with red lamps and stone steps! The name of Kifune shrine may give you an image of this scene. It is all the time great to see, but today is especially fantastic with illumination.

By the way, as you may have noticed, “貴船” as in Kibune area is normally pronounced “KIBUNE”, however, only “貴船神社” as in Kifune shrine, we say “KIFUNE” without voicing. It is said because it enshrines gods of pure water!

The main hall

The main hall comes out as you go on walking stone steps. Shrine itself is illuminated too. Visiting after sunset in autumn will be unique experience.

Don’t forget to pay homage!

Don’t forget to pay homage!


Draw an omikuji or fortune slip at the shrine. It is called “Mizu-ura-mikuji” that tell you fortune by soaking in water. How interesting! Must draw one!

paper into water

Dip the omikuji paper into water with maple leaves scattered.

Our fortune is…

Erika and Shiho

Erika (left) got average good luck, and Shiho (right) got bad luck! Average good luck is second-best to excellent luck, Erika looks happy. In contrast, Shiho drew second-worst, it’s a shame!

QR code

Fortune slips only have Japanese, but reading QR code helps translate it to English and Chinese! What a nice service it is!


Wi-Fi is available in the site, so don’t have to wait to see your fortune!

seal book

Erika was so happy to know her good fortune, which led her to shop. She bought a seal book she has been wanted for a long time! The cover has autumn-like pattern.

She got the first seal at Kifune shrine

She got the first seal at Kifune shrine! Red seal is paper (can be a stamp, handwriting) you can get at shrines and temples. Each seal has an original stamp or the name of the principal image written in ink.

Nowadays the number of people collecting red seals as visiting temples and shrines has been increased. It is somehow popular among the young in Japan. Erika rode the boom and started gathering seals!

We have prayed at the main hall

We have prayed at the main hall, but the shrine still has some other shrines, Yui-no-yashiro and Okuno-miya. 


Okuno-miya is further inside from this Torii gate. People are getting thin, which makes us slightly worried. Keep going.

After walking straight

After walking straight, we finally reached Okuno-miya! This place is said to have first established in Kifune shrine.

I feel like I got power in the silence

Not like main hall, it is very quiet and unmanned. I feel like I got power in the silence.

If it is hard to get to Okuno-miya at night, make a visit in the day time. You will feel the energy of god of water!


Go back to Yui-no-yashiro. It is especially famous for giving marriage luck. If you pray for good marriage, don’t forget!

We have finished all!

We have finished all! We are heading back to where we were as viewing lovely maple trees. Kibune has accommodations that you can stay and enjoy dinner and hot spring!

platform is lit up too

Waiting for the train, platform is lit up too.

The train is coming

The train is coming. It is good combination with colorful leaves.

darker outside

The maple tunnel on our way back is more stunning because it is darker outside. The train runs slowly and its light is turned off during passing the tunnel so that you can fully enjoy the scene. That is nifty.

Demachi-yanagi station

We’ve got back to Demachi-yanagi station!

The day was full of Kifune shrine and Kibune’s autumn leaves! Kyoto has a lot of good places for autumn leaves. Please go and see the night trees too, it is surely impressive.

A comment from the staff
The red lamps lining up to Kifune shrine are incredible and overwhelming! Combination of great scenery and autumn leaves that represent Japan’s fall cannot be expressed in words. It is surely a must-see once in a lifetime. Mizu-ura-mikuji at Kifune shrine is an interesting fortune slip that fortune appears on it in water. Draw one for you!

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