Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kyoto's Kibune Jinja ♡ 貴船神社

Picturesque path up to Kibune Jinja.
Deep within a cedar forest and side-by-side to a crystal-clear flowing stream, Kibune Jinja is a Shinto shrine located in the northeastern area of Kyoto, about 15km from the city center. 

I was searching for places to visit in Kansai, and I wanted to go somewhere with a lot of nature since Osaka is very city-ish, and so is Kobe. Anyway, Kibune Jinja fit the bill perfectly! It's located uphill, surrounded by numerous trees and a flowing stream, plus the red and black lanterns are gorgeous!

Dedicated to the God of Water, Kibune Jinja is also known as the water shrine, and is over 1600 years old.

 Going up the stairs to the Honguu 本宮, the main shrine. 
It's about an 800m walk from the bus stop!

Tanzaku at Kibune Jinja.
You write your wish on a piece of paper and tie it here, and hope that it will come true!

 Horse statues at Kibune Jinja. 
In the past, dark or white horses used to be offered in instances of too much or too little rain.

Goshinsui 御神水, sacred water. The source is straight from the mountains.
Why do you think they're all gathering around the water? 

Kibune Jinja has a special omikuji (paper fortune).
And since it's a water shrine, the special feature has something to do with water!
You pick a seemingly blank sheet of paper from a stack, and let it float on the water.
As it gets wet, words magically appear! When it dries, the words disappear.

Where you buy the omikuji, omamori, goshuuinchou etc. 
Here you can also ask the staff for English pamphlets with information on the history of the shrine.

   Kibune Jinja is also famed for its musubi-mamori むすび守 (charm for love).
Pink for females, blue for males. 
They come in two forms/shapes, the ones on the left are the "famed" ones.
They don't come cheap though, each one is 1,000yen.

Lovely little waterfall along the side. 

Bridge and path to walk to the middle shrine.

I really like walking the stairs here, the steps aren't steep, the rock is beautiful, the trees are cooling, and it's lined with all the pretty red lanterns and rails.

About 800m uphill from the main shrine is the Yui-no-yashiro 結社, where people pray for marriage.
In the past, the people believed that wishes were granted by the power of the Water God.
And since it's the water shrine, Kibune Jinja is a popular place for praying...for relationships. 

 Lovely gravel walking path, lined with tall cedars and bright red lamp-posts.

Close-up of a lantern! 

Hear the calming sound of the water flowing in stream beside you while climbing up.
The cooling water brings the temperature down by 5~10°C!

Finally, Okunomiya 奥宮, the inner shrine. 
It's another 500m from Yui-no-yashiro. 

In the inner shrine is the original location of the Kibune Jinja that was established 1,600 years ago. 
I lost my camera lens cap somewhere here I think! Never found it :(

Guardian statue. 

 The cedar trees are really tall and straight! 

Another lovely little water feature.
Although it was a hot summer day, walking uphill was very pleasant as the flowing water from the stream made the temperature cooler. Also, it was uphill with a lot of trees, which totally lessened the humidity and heat! The temperature was markedly different up here compared to the Kawaramachi area in Kyoto.

Another interesting thing I saw along the way up were these restaurants/tea houses lining the stream.
Built right over the stream, you can dine whilst the rivers flows directly beneath you! 

The water is so clear! 
The part in the bottom left of the picture is the river/stream, you can see right through the water!

I had a lovely morning walking along Kibune Jinja, and would definitely visit again!
It's a nice place for a quite, relaxing walk, and the atmosphere is very peaceful.

To get there, take the Kyoto subway to Demachiyamagi station (出町柳). At Demachiyanagi, transfer and take the Eizan Electric Line to Kibune-guchi station (貴船口). Then take a bus to Kibune bus stop, and follow the path up for about 800m.

If you're coming from Osaka like I did, take the Hankyu line to Kawaramachi (河原町) then walk to Gion-Shijo (祇園四条) to take the Kyoto subway. From Osaka to Kibune-guchi, it takes about 90 minutes.


  1. i`ve been there in january. it`s such a great place.

    1. Hurray! Glad to know I'm not the only one who has visited Kibune Jinja, it really is lovely, isn't it :)

  2. Love the pictures! So beautiful. I plan on visiting next year right after my trip to Korea. ;)

    1. Yepp, it's really a beautiful place! Please visit it~ ♡

  3. The omikuji looks interesting!
    And the shrine looks beautiful =]

    1. Yeah, the omikuji is really interesting!
      I didn't get a good one so I tied it there and didn't bring it back :(

  4. Very nice work!!! Please take me around to some of those places!!! Ill be back in Japan soon!!! Justin