Sep. 03, 2020 UPDATE
Kifune Shrine- 貴船神社 -
This shrine is far from the center of Kyoto, but there are buses from the closest station so it is surprisingly easy to get to the shrine, and at the shrine they also have free Wi-Fi and you can even translate the fortune slips with your smartphone, so it is an easy place to go to even if you don’t know any Japanese.
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Kifune Shrine is an ancient shrine in northern Kyoto that enshrines the god of water
Using Eizan Electric railway you can get to the northern area of Rakuhoku in about 30 minutes from the city center, and leave the bustle and hustle of the city behind you. The shrine most representative of this Kibune area is, of course, Kifune Shrine, which, because water is the source of all life, enshrines the dragon-god of water, and because the Kibune River is the source of the Kamo River, this shrine has a strong connection with nature. Since the ancient times, Kifune Shrine has been thought of as a place with a strong connection with the life energy “qi,” which is one of the reasons why many people go to this shrine even to this day. The vast shrine is made up of three shrines: Honguu, Yuinoyashiro, and Okunomiya. Because Kifune Shrine is surrounded by nature, in summer you can enjoy the green leaves, in autumn the autumn leaves, and in winter you can see the shrine covered in snow. They have many events all through the year like illuminations, which must be one of the reasons why so many people keep coming back to this shrine. How about going to Kifune Shrine and receiving energy from the god of water?
After you walk all the way up the path lined with red lanterns, you get to Honguu, where you can find the main and the prayer hall. The god enshrined behind the prayer hall at the main hall is the god of water, Takaokami-noｍkami. Kifune Shrine is also known as the place where the ema wooden plaques originated, so they have two statues of horses by Honguu: a white one and a black one.
After a 15-minute walk from the main hall, you will get to Okunomiya. Okunomiya is at the place where the very first shrine used to be. Right now there is no staff present at Okunomiya, but the place has a very solemn, sacred atmosphere, so I hope you will walk up to Okunomiya when you go to Kifune Shrine.
Pray for good marriage luck at Yuinoyashiro
Kifune Shrine is actually also famous as a place to pray for good marriage luck. The god who presides over marriage, Iwanagahime-no-mikoto, is enshrined at Yuinoyashiro, and it is said that the famous Heian period woman poet Izumi Shikibu, who wrote many love poems, also visited Yuinoyashiro.
Water fortune slip
At Kifune Shrine, you can try your luck with an interesting fortune slip. At first, this slip is just a white piece of paper, but when you let it float on the water, you will slowly get to see the letters. The fortune slip is in Japanese, but it has a QR code on it so you can check the translation with your smartphone, in English, Korean, and simplified and traditional Chinese.