Imakumano Shrine is located south of Sanjusangendo and along Higashioji Dori. It is said that the shrine was built by Ex-Emperor Goshirakawa in 1160.
Emperor Goshirakawa abdicated in 1158, and his residence at that time was Hojuji Temple, which is now located to the east of Sanjusangendo. The Ima-Kumano Shrine was built as a guardian shrine and the Sanjusangendo as a guardian temple. The construction of the temple was undertaken by father and son, Taira no Kiyomori and Taira no Shigemori, who were ordered by Goshirakawa.
The present main shrine dates from 1663. It is an interesting, rather mysterious, shrine.
Role of Imakumano Shrine
Kumano is a holly place in Kii Peninsular. The pilgrimage to Kumano is very difficult on mountain roads. For this reason, it is believed that the shrine was built in Kyoto to imitate the sacred sites in Kumano.