Kifune Shrine sits at the foot of Mount Kurama in Sakyo Ward, about a 40-minute drive from Kyoto’s center.
It is resplendent in each of the four seasons, be it the new green of spring, the colorful leaves of autumn or mantled in snow in winter. One look at this picture-perfect shrine set in nature and you will understand why it draws so many visitors throughout the year.

Kifune Shrine is Kyoto's Incredible Power Spot

Kasuga lanterns line the stone stairway leading up to the shrine. This otherworldly view representative of the shrine is often shown on TV and in magazines.

After ascending the approach to the shrine and once inside the precincts one must first purify oneself with water. On this day (January 13, 2017) the temperature was right around freezing—biting cold! This pure water cleanses one’s heart.

The exact date when Kifune Shrine was established is not known, but it is indeed very old with records showing that reconstructions have been carried out from 1,300 years ago.
The deity enshrined here is the God of Water, called Takaokami no Kami. We know that it has existed since ancient times because it is mentioned in the Kojiki [Records of Ancient Matters] and Nihon Shoki [Chronicles of Japan], two of the oldest records in Japan.

Successive imperial courts also fervently worshiped here and the Emperor Saga is said to have given offerings of living horses when praying for rain or for rain to stop, and this is said to be where the votive cards picturing a horse originated.

Although there are various theories regarding the origin of the shrine's name, it is said that from olden times it has been written using characters meaning "the source of spiritual energy" and which are also read as "Kifune".
It is a place that is the source of the earth's energy, "Ki", and from ancient times has attracted those who believe the divine virtue of good fortune can be obtained here.
This katsura tree is 400 years old. The energy of the god of the earth is said to rise to the heavens like a dragon and this tree is worshiped as a sacred tree embodying that form.

As I mentioned earlier, the deity enshrined here is the god of water, so the pure water flowing here is sacred water and it is possible to take it home with you. You may bring your own container, but if you did not bring one, you can buy one in the precincts for that purpose (300 yen each).

▲One pleasure is to float the fortune slip you received on the sacred water

Also, floating the fortune slip on the sacred water will show your fortune. These water fortune-telling slips (200 yen each) …

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