Kyoto in January | Kurama-dera Temple and Kifune Shrine

January 2021:

We hiked the trail which connects from Kurama-dera Temple and Kifune Shrine and made the first visit of the new year. Since we usually don’t travel this far because of the distance from Kyoto City,  we visited this time because we couldn’t find any particular blooming flower spots close to Kyoto City in January.

We went to Demachiyanagi Sta. by bus from the Kyoto Kawaramachi Sta. on the Hankyu Electric Railway Kyoto Main Line, and we transferred to the Eizan Railway. This train usually runs to Kurama Sta., which is located near Sanmon (main gate) of Kurama-dera Temple, but there was a landslide due to heavy rain in July 2020, so we got off at Ichihara Sta. and transferred to a bus.

We arrived at Kurama Bus Sta. in the afternoon, and had lunch at “Nagomiya Kotengu Sobaya (Japanese buckwheat noodle)”. 

This is the Sanmon (main gate) of Kurama-dera Temple. I guessed there were few people because it was far from Kyoto City. Kurama-dera Temple is said to be the place where Hikaru Genji and Wakamurasaki of The Tale of Genji  (classic work of Japanese literature) met, and Minamoto no Yoshitsune (old military commander of Heian Era) lived and trained when he was Ushiwakamaru (his child name).

Nioumon (Samon = main gate)
Yuki Shrine

This is a big cedar which is a natural monument in Kyoto. The small shrine was set as the sacred tree which makes dreams come true.

Big cedar

Honden (main hall) worships Bishamonten (Buddha god), and its sacred beasts, Aun-no-tora (tiger), were guarding instead of Koma-inu (lion), which are usually guarding.

Main Hall Kondo

We entered the trail, Okuno-in-sando (sacred path between temple and shrine), from the side of Main Hall, and hiked on the mountain path for about thirty mins.

Tree roots path

This is Sando (main road) of Kifune Shrine.


Hongu (main shrine) worships God of water, and the sacred water was flowing out. You can put it in a container (which you can buy there if you don’t have one) and bring it back.

Hongu of Kifune Shrine


12:40 Kurama Bus Sta.
12:50 Lunch
13:15 Kurama-dera Temple (admission fee 300 yen/adult)
13:45 Honden Kondo of Kurama-dera Temple
13:50 Okuno-in-Sando (trail)
14:20 Kifune Shrine