A shrine whose god rules the water
Kifune Shrine, which has a history of 1500 years and is surrounded by woods along the banks of the Kibune River, the source of the Kamo River, is a shrine that deifies the God of Water. It’s separated into 3 rear shrines: the main shrine devoted to the God of Water, an associated shrine devoted to the God of Marriage, and the site of the original main shrine. It is also said to be one of Japan’s three major marriage shrines and known as the place where Izumi Shikibu, one of the poets for the Hyakunin Isshu anthology, visited to pray for reconciliation with her husband. A 30-minute walk from Kibune-guchi Station, the shrine has 2 torii (shrine archways). Beyond those archways, there are scarlet lanterns along the stone steps which are popular as photography spots at the shrine.
Popular “Mizu-uranai” (fortune-telling by water)
With the spring water flowing from Mt. Kibune where the shrine is located to the stone wall in front of the main building, mizu-uranai with this holy water is very popular. Receiving fortune slips at the conferment place, they are dipped into the holy water and as characters emerge, you can find out your fortune. Moreover, wishes to be written in pieces of paper can be purchased at the main shrine, and when they are tied to places at the associated shrines, it is said that the God will determine all destinies for things such as romance, friendship, higher education and job hunting. During the summer between May and September, you can enjoy a meal on the riverbed, a special feature at Kibune. You can experience the local cuisine of Kyoto on the bed of the Kibune River where cool breezes blow by during the humid summers there. In addition, there is the famous restaurant “Hirobun” at the riverbed where you can enjoy nagashi somen (flowing noodles), a seasonal dish only available in summer. The somen flows on half-cut bamboo pipes so you can grab them with chopsticks, dip them into dashi (stock) and eat them. To get to Kifune Shrine, you can also walk from Kurama-dera Temple for 1 hour along the Ki-no-Nemichi path.