Touring “Kyoto San Kumano” has the same benefits as making a pilgrimage to the three famous shrines in faraway Kumano. Travelers who do not have the time to travel to Kumano may wish to visit the three Kumano shrines in Kyoto, just as the people of the Heian period (794-1185) did.
“Kyoto San Kumano” is the general name for the three Kumano shrines in Kyoto. They are Kumano Jinja Shrine, Imakumano Jinja Shrine, and Kumano Nyakuoji Jinja Shrine.
During the Heian period (794-1185), people constantly visited the Kumano Sanzan (three mountains) in Kii Kumano. The Kumano Sanzan are three important shrines in Kumano: Hongu of Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine, Shingu of Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine, and Nachi of Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine. However, it was a long and arduous journey from Kyoto to Kii Kumano.
Therefore, it was decided to create shrines in the capital of Kyoto to represent the three Kumano shrines. These are the so-called Kyoto San Kumano.
Places you will visit on the Kyoto San Kumano Tour
Kumano Jinja Shrine is a simulacrum of Shingu Shrine.
The ex-emperor Goshirakawa Hōhō founded all these three shrines. After that, however, Hōhō Shirakawa himself made pilgrimages to Kumano Sanzan in Kii as much as 34 times during his lifetime.
Kumano Jinja Shrine and Kumano Nyakuoji Jinja Shrine may be within a walking distance. However, to visit Imakumano Jinja Shrine, you may take a bus or taxi.