Imamiya Shrine and Aburi Mochi, A Kyoto Favorite

While many people visit Daitoku-ji, one of the biggest temples in Kyoto, not so many people know there is a quaint little shrine in north of it, Imamiya Shrine [今宮神社]. Coupled with the very locally famous aburi mochi, Imamiya Shrine is definitely a shrine you should drop by if you have a chance.

Getting to Imamiya Shrine

Imamiya Shrine is located just north of Daitoku-ji Temple. There are various ways to get Daitoku-ji, since it is one of the most famous temple in Kyoto. If you want to go by train, the closest station is Kitaoji Station off the subway Karasuma Line, but it may take 20 minutes or so to get there.

Main gate of Imamiya Shrine

Shrine gate

 

Shrine Grounds

The origins of Imamiya Shrine dates back to the Heian Period when the shrine was built to ward off plague from Kyoto.

East entrance of Imamiya Shrine in Kyoto

East entrance

Imamiya Shrine is not so big. Upon entering you will see the honden which enshrines Onamuchi (aka Okunushi) and his son, Kotoshironushi, and his wife Kushinada.

main shrine building of Imamiya Shrine in Kyoto

Honden

Right next to the hoden is the shrine enshrining the gods that protect against plague. I guess maybe this used to be the main shrine…

 

Ahokashisan: rub this stone and then rub the part of your body that you want to cure.

A particularly interesting thing about this shrine is that it is popular for women.

Born near the shrine to a vegetable shop Keisho-in became concubine of 3rd Shogun of Edo government. Eventually she also gave birth to the 5th shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi. She never forgot her home, however, and donated a large fortune to revive the shrine. So, many women who wish to be successful like Keisho-in visits this shrine to pray for their future.

Hataori shrine in Imamiya Shrine in Kyoto

Hataori Shrine: enshrines Takuhatachiji-hime no mikoto [栲幡千千姫命], the goddess of textiles. This shrine quite popular for those who engaged in the textile industry in Nishijin in Kyoto.

Points of Interest

Aburi mochi

While you are at Imamiya Shrine, you must try the aburi mochi. The treat also dates back to the Heian Period. According to local legend, when Emperor Ichijo became sick someone gifted him this mochi and it helped to restore his health.

Just outside of the former east you will see two stores that sell aburi mochi: Kazariya on right and Ichiwa on left. Kazariya is 400 years old and Ichiwa is about a thousand years.

Aburi mochi at Imamiya Shrine in Kyoto

Aburi mochi

Aburi mochi is basically grilled mochi covered in a sweet white miso paste. This sauce is particularly nice with mochi. The each piece of mochi is quite small but don’t worry, they give you 15 sticks for 300 yen!

 

Imamiya Shrine

Address21 Murasakino Imamiyacho, Kita-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, 〒 603-8243
21
Websitehttp://www.imamiyajinja.org/
Hours of OperationMon-Sun: 9:00-16:30
Admission FeeFree

Coming next time, the remotest but the prettiest village, Totsukawa Village!

The adventure continues…

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