Kumano Jinja Shrine dates back to 811, when Shugendo priest Nichien Shonin invoked the great deity Kumano from Kishu in this area. It is the oldest of the three Kumano shrines in Kyoto. The other two are Imakumano Jinja Shrine and Kumano Nyakuoji Jinja Shrine.
Shogoin Monzeki, which was founded at the behest of Emperor Shirakawa in 1090, was also haunted by the Shrine as its guardian deity.
The shrine was destroyed by fire during the Onin War. But later it was rebuilt in 1666. At that time, its grounds were vast, extending as far as the Kamo River. The present main shrine building was moved from Shimogamo Jinja Shrine at this time.
The shrine offers blessings such as marriage, easy childbirth, healing from illness, and fire extinguishing. There is an old custom of receiving a “fire talisman” on Setsubun day. On that day, worshippers fill the shrine’s precinct.
Nearby spots from Kumano Jinja Shrine
Shogoin Monzeki Temple is a few-minute walk from the shrine. You can always visit this temple. However, important statues cannot be seen except at special times of the year.
Heian Jingu Shrine is especially recommended during the cherry blossom season.
Tours to visit Kumano Jinja Shrine
“Kyoto San Kumano” is the general name for the three Kumano shrines in Kyoto. They represents three important shrines in real Kumano. This tour visits all three Kumano shrines in Kyoto.