Kifune-jinja Shrine is an ancient shrine located in a village in the mountainous area north of Kyoto and is actually a complex of three shrines located in different positions up a hillside. The best-known feature on the grounds is the well-worn stone staircase lined by distinctive red wooden lanterns which evoke the feeling of an earlier time. Each of the shrines has its own appeal, the middle shrine being notable for its location in a grove of ancient, towering cedar trees, while the upper shrine is the oldest and original site of the Kibune-jinja Shrine.
The shrine is over 1600 years old and is older than Kyoto itself. It enshrines the god of water and rain, and was visited in the past by Imperial envoys that came to pray for rain. Farmers and sake brewers have traditionally paid homage at this shrine.
The mountain air helps keep the grounds cool in summer, as does the stream running nearby that is famous for its pure water. It is a popular place to escape the summer heat and enjoy the atmosphere of history and natural beauty.
* Address: 180 Kurama-kibune-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
* Tel.: 075-741-2016
* Access: 30-minute walk from Eizan Railway Kibune-guchi Station, 5-minute walk from Kyoto Bus Stop Kibune
* Parking: 15 cars (500 yen/2 hours)
* Hours: 6:00-20:00 (May to Nov., Jan.1 to 3), 6:00-18:00 (Dec.to Apr.)
* Entrance Fee: Free