One of the most visited and photographed sights in Kyoto is undoubtedly the stone staircase leading up to the ancient Kifune Shrine, dedicated to the god of water. Worshippers and visitors are simply enthralled by the contrast between the vermilion wooden lanterns lining the eighty steps and the green canopy of maple leaves.
The location of Kifune Shrine, Kibune, is also known for its Kawadoko cuisine, consisting in fresh conger eel shabu-shabu, salted and grilled ayu fish, chilled noodles and other seasonal ingredients, served on special platforms over the rushing Kamo river. The breeze, the sound of the river flowing and the sight of the green maples will soothe you and purify your mind.
Located in Sakyo ward, Kyoto’s Kifune Shrine is the head shrine of over 500 Kifune Shrines across Japan. It is the shrine with the longest history in Kyoto, where it was built in the 6th year of Hakuhō period (677), the era of Emperor Tenmu. It enshrines Taka-Okami-no-Kami, the deity of rain and water. In the ancient times, horses would be sent to Kifune Shrine as offerings to the god. A black horse was sent as a prayer for rain to come, whereas a white horse was sent for the rain to stop.