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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

History

Kifune-jinja Shrine 貴船神社

A memorable shrine in a dreamy village

In the northern mountains of Kyoto is the quaint village of Kibune, where you can find Kifune Shrine, many ryokan and cedar forests.

How to Get There

The shrine accessible by train and then by bus or on foot.

Take the Keihan Line to Demachiyanagi Station and transfer to the Eizan Dentetsu Line. Get off at Kibune-guchi Station. From there, it’s a 20-minute walk up the road to Kibune. There are some buses that run from the station to the village.

When to go

The best times to visit Kifune are August, when the summer heat isn’t so strong because of the high elevation and shadowy forests, and autumn, when the maples dazzle with color.

Sacred waters

Kifune Shrine is known for the incredibly photo-worthy stone steps that lead up to it, lined on either side with red lanterns. The shrine is dedicated to the god of water. According to legend, a goddess arrived in Kifune on a yellow boat, and the shrine marks the place where she finally landed.

Okunomiya, the location of the original shrine, is a kilometer away up the road. There you can see the large stone said to be covering the remains of the goddesses’ yellow boat.

Pray for success

Those in the food industry often visit Kifune Shrine to pray for business success. The shrine features a very unique omikuji, or paper fortune: for ¥200, you can purchase a blank piece of paper on which a fortune appears only when you float it on the water of the shrine’s fountain.

Hike the mountain

A lovely hiking trail connects Kibune with Kurama, a village on the other side of the mountain. It’s a steep walk up the mountain path, but the trail is laid with steps and handrails in more difficult areas.

It’s not a bad idea to begin in Kibune and finish in Kurama so you can soak in their excellent onsen—the best in Kyoto—surrounded by picturesque forests and mountains.

Dine like the locals

The village of Kibune is also known for restaurants that feature kawadoko, or decks, over the rushing Kibune River below. Throughout the summer, you can partake in a fancy and traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner while admiring the flowing water beneath you.

The food is remarkably fresh—your fish may even have been caught from the same river. Reserve ahead for these meals that usually start at ¥3000 per person.

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