Kifune-jinja Shrine (貴船神社) is a Shinto shrine located in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, and is a very popular with tourists.
Because it is to the north of Kyoto, this Shinto shrine has bad access.
However, it is very famous for a tourist here.
Why is it?
There are two reasons for it.
The first reason is the scenery of the approach to a shrine of this Shinto shrine is very Japanese-style.
The second reason, this is because this Shinto shrine is one of the best shrine which have a divine favor of marriage in Japan.
So, I went to Kifune-jinja Shrine this time.
- The history of Kifune-jinja Shrine
- About Kifune-jinja Shrine
- Information for visitors
- The highlights of Kifune-jinja Shrine
- The videos/photos of Kinkaku-ji Temple
- The Goshuin (the stamp of shrine or temple) of Kifune-jinja Shrine
- How to get to Kifune-jinja Shrine
- Hotel search & reservation around Kifune-jinja Shrine
Let’s study the history of this shrine with me before introducing Kifune-jinja Shrine.
I think that we can enjoy the sightseeing of Kifune-jinja Shrine more by learning the history of it.(○´艸｀)
“貴船” which is the area with this Shinto shrine is pronounced as “KIBUNE”.
But only “貴船神社” which is the name of this Shinto shrine is pronounced as “KIFUNE-JINJA”.
(The former has a dot mark of a voiced sound, but there are none in the latter.)
Because Taka-Okami-no-Kami (高龗神) which is the god of “pure” water is enshrined, the name of this Shinto shrine does not have a dot mark of a voiced sound.
(It is considered that the dot mark of a voiced sound becomes muddy.)
The history of its establishment is unknown, but according to another report, it is said that this Shinto shrine has the history more than 1,300 years.
Therefore a lot of legend of matchmaking (marriage) are left in this Shinto shrine from old days.
The case of Izumi Shikibu (和泉式部) who was a famous poet of the Heian period (平安時代).
Because FUJIWARA no Yasumasa (藤原保昌) who was a husband of her was prone to adultery, she did not get on well with him.
Therefore she went and worshiped at this Shinto shrine which has the divine favor of matchmaking (marriage).
And she was able to be reconciled with him because of it.
The case of a daughter of the country of ogre.
This is a story of the late Muromachi period described in “the Otogi zoshi (a book of ghost stories)” which is a Japanese old tale.
The daughter of ogre was in love with a human military commander.
However, because they both have different tribes, their family was objected by marriage.
They couldn’t give up on marriage.
Therefore they went and worshiped at this Shinto shrine which has the divine favor of matchmaking (marriage).
Then, God of this Shinto shrine admitted their marriage.
And they were able to get their parents to consent to their marriage.
In this way, a lot of legend of matchmaking (marriage) are left in this Shinto shrine from old days.
Kifune Shrine (貴船神社 Kifune Jinja), is a Shinto shrine located at Sakyō-ku in Kyoto, Japan. Although the area is called Kibune, the shrine’s name is pronounced Kifune.
Open：6:00~20:00(May – November), 6:00~18:00(December – April)
Address：180, Kurama Kibunecho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 601-1112, Japan
Founder：Emperor Hanzei (反正天皇)
Main enshrined deity：Taka-Okami-no-Kami (高龗神)
When this Shinto shrine was established, the god who was called “Tamayori-hime (玉依姫)” came to this Shinto shrine on a yellow ship (黄船).
Because 黄船(Kifune) can also be read as 貴船(Kifune), it is also said that the name of this shrine originated from this ship’s color.
・The official order of worship is “Hongu (本宮)” → “Okumiya (奥宮)” → “Yui-no-Yashiro (結社)”.
・Sacred water is free. Let’s take an empty plastic bottle.
・The worship method of the Shinto shrine, please refer to the following article.
- 一の鳥居:Ichi-no-torii (first torii gate)
- 二の鳥居:Ni-no-torii (second torii gate)
- 南参道:South approach
- 南門:South Gate
- 拝殿:Hai-den (Worship hall)
- 本殿:Hon-den (Main hall)
- 授与所:Conferment place
- 絵馬発祥の社:Monument of votive-horse-tablet’s birth
- ご神木(桂の木):Sacred tree (katsura tree)
- 石庭:Sekitei (Stone Garden)
- 御神水:Gojinsui (Sacred water)
- 北門:North Gate
- 北参道:North approach
- 三の鳥居:San-no-torii (third torii gate)
- 相生の杉:Aioi-no-sugi (Aioi cedar)
- 奥宮鳥居:Oku-no-miya Torii
- 思ひ川:Omoi-gawa river
- つつみヶ石:Tsutsumi-ga-ishi stone
- 奥宮参道:Approach to Okumiya
- 神門:Shin-mon Gate (Shrine Gate)
- 拝殿:Hai-den (Worship hall)
- 本殿:Hon-den (Main hall)
- 御船形石:Ofunagata-ishi stone
- 吸葛社:Suikazura-sha shrine
- 鈴市社:Suzuichi-sha Shrine
- 日吉社:Hiyoshi-sha Shrine
- 連理の杉:Renri-no-sugi (Cedar of the eternal love)
Hongu (本宮) is located in the south side and is the main place of this shrine.
The main enshrined deity of this shrine is Taka-Okami-no-Kami (高龗神).
This God is a Ryujin (龍神:dragon god), and he has the divine favor of water and rain.
This is a new building which was reconstructed in 2005.
A building on the other side is Hon-den (Mail hall).
This is also a new building which was reconstructed in 2005.
Taka-Okami-no-Kami (高龗神) which is the main enshrined deity is enshrined in this building.
This is Ryusen-kaku (龍船閣) which has a role of the rest house for worshipers.
This is also a new building which was reconstructed in 2015.
This is Chozuya (手水舎) which was reconstructed in 2015.
This Shinto shrine is known as the birthplace of the Ema (a votive horse tablet).
This Shinto shrine has divine favor of water and the rain.
So, in the old days, when an act of begging for rain was prayed, the people dedicated a black horse.
And, when an act of begging for sunshine was prayed, the people dedicated a white horse.
Yui-no-Yashiro (結社) is located at the middle of Hongu (本宮) and Okumiya (奥宮).
It’s about 10 minutes (500 m) on foot from Hongu (本宮).
The enshrined deity of Yui-no-Yashiro is Iwanagahime no Mikoto (磐長姫命).
She has the divine favor of matchmaking (marriage).
This is a monument inscribed with a tanka poem of Izumi Shikibu (和泉式部).
「ものおもへば 沢の蛍も わが身より あくがれいづる 魂(たま)かとぞみる」
(Monomoheba Sawa-no-hotaru-mo Wagamiyori Akugareizuru Tamakatozomiru)
This is the tanka that expressed loneliness not to be able to meet her husband.
Okumiya (奥宮) is located at the north of Hongu (本宮).
It’s about 15 minutes (800 m) on foot from Hongu (本宮).
The enshrined deity of Okumiya (奥宮) is Kura-Okami-no-Kami (闇龗神).
Taka-Okami-no-Kami (高龗神) which is God of Hongu (本宮) and Kura-Okami-no-Kami (闇龗神) which is God of Okumiya (奥宮) are same God.
Before reaching the Shinto Shrine, visitors are required to go through a purification ritual to make their bodies and spirits fresh.
It is said that Izumi Shikibu (和泉式部) went through a purification ritual to make her bodies and spirits fresh here.
This is Hon-den (Mail hall).
In old days, there was Hongu (本宮) of this Shinto shrine in this place.
However, because a building was destroyed by a flood in 1046, Hongu (本宮) was reconstructed downstream in 1055.
As a result, this place came to be enshrined as Okumiya (奥宮).
This huge stone has a shape of the ship.
This stone is said to be a sacred ship which “Tamayori-hime (玉依姫)” used.
This is Suikazura-sha shrine (吸葛社) which is a sub-shrine of Okumiya (奥宮).
Ajisukitakahikone-no-mikoto (味耜高彦根命) which is God of agriculture and thunder is enshrined in this sub-shrine.
This is Suzuichi-sha shrine (鈴市社) which is a sub-shrine of Okumiya (奥宮).
Himetataraisuzuhime-no-mikoto(媛蹈鞴五十鈴媛命) who is a wife of Emperor Jinmu (神武天皇) who is said to be the Japanese first Emperor is enshrined in this sub-shrine.
This is Hiyoshi-sha shrine (日吉社) which is a sub-shrine of Okumiya (奥宮).
Omononushi-no-mikoto (大物主命) which is God who protects the mountains of this place is enshrined in this sub-shrine.
This is a sacred cedar tree of Okumiya (奥野宮) which is called “Renri-no-sugi (連理の杉:Cedar of the eternal love)“.
The left side of this tree is cedar, and right side is maple.
Because Renri (連理) means that two kinds of different trees become one tree, it is said that this tree has divine favor of the harmonious marriage.
■YouTube:雪の貴船神社 奥宮:Kifune-jinja Shrine Oku-no-miya(20170116)
■Flickr:Photo of Kifune-jinja Shrine (20170116)
■Flickr:Photo of Yui-no-yashiro (Kifune-jinja Shrine) (20170116)
■Flickr:Photo of Oku-no-miya (Kifune-jinja Shrine) (20170116)
The goshuin of Hongu (本宮) is “貴船神社(Kifunejinja)”.
We can get this shuin in a conferment hall. (300 yen)
The goshuin of Okumiya (奥宮) is “奥宮(Okumiya)”.
We can also get this shuin in a conferment hall. (300 yen)
The nearest station of Kifune-jinja Shrine is ‘Eizan Railway Kurama Line Kibuneguchi Station’.
(We can also go by bus from ‘Subway Kokusaikaikan (Kyoto International Conference Center) Station’.)
Because it is far from the nearest station, I recommend that you use a bus from the station.
■When you go on foot from “Eizan Railway Kurama Line Kibuneguchi Station” or “Kyoto Bus Kibuneguchi Bus Stop”
■When you get on a bus from Subway Kokusaikaikan (Kyoto International Conference Center) Station
Bus company：Kyoto Bus
Routes/Destination：No.152[Bound for Kurama Onsen]
Boarding bus stop：Kokusaikaikan Sta.
Alighting bus stop：Kibuneguchi
Bus fare：280 yen
Time required：About 20 min
■When you get on a bus from Eizan Railway Kurama Line Kibuneguchi Station
Bus company：Kyoto Bus
Routes/Destination：No.33[Bound for Kibune]
Boarding bus stop：Kibuneguchi Sta.
Alighting bus stop：Kibune
Bus fare：160 yen
Time required：About 4 min
■When you take a taxi
From Kyoto Station：6,050 yen ~ 7,440 yen (about 40 minutes)
From Gion-Shijo Station：5,170 yen ~ 6,440 yen (about 30 minutes)
Let’s show a taxi driver the following phrase.
How did you like it?
Please try to go to this shrine.
Have a nice trip! ( *´艸｀)
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