今宮神社Imamiya (meaning “newly-constructed”) Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in this middle of a forest northwest of 大徳寺Daitoku-ji Temple. It was founded in 994 but was moved to its current location in 1001 due to an epidemic. Although it started out with people praying against epidemics, the shrine is now mostly visited to pray for good health. The やすらい祭Yasurai Matsuri (Yasurai Festival) which was created in response to the epidemic is held the second Sunday of April every year. At the shrine is a stone with magical powers called 阿呆賢さんAhokashi-san: one is said to heal more quickly by rubbing an injury with hands that have rubbed the stone. Also, if one taps the stone three times, the stone will feel heavy when picked up. However, on the second try, if one taps the stone three times while making a wish and the stone feels light when picking it up, then the wish will be granted.
I went during Golden Week in 2006 for the first time, after going to Daitoku-ji Temple with a friend. This is the only picture that I took then, of the pavilion in the middle displaying portable shrines for the 今宮祭Imamiya Matsuri (Imamiya Festival) in May.
The main reason for going to Imamiya Shrine was to eat あぶり餅aburi-mochi (grilled skewered rice cake in a sweet miso sauce) of which my friend who accompanied me informed me; the shops, 一和Ichiwa since 1002 and かざりやKazariya since 1656, are just outside one of the entrances.
We chose Ichiwa.
the view of the front of the entrance from our room
perfect environment to take a break
After visiting a temple, walking through a forest and visiting a shrine, the green tea and aburi-mochi (15本hon (sticks)), ￥500, were delicious.
In mid-January 2009, I went to Imamiya Shrine, the last shrine on the 京都十六社朱印めぐりKyouto Juuroku-Sha Shuin Meguri (Kyoto 16 Shrine Red Seal Tour) for us, with the same friend.
going through the gate to the shrine by car
a tree with a unique trunk near the parking space for Imamiya Shrine
The gnarled part looked like a walnut-shaped face to me.
This time we chose to have aburi-mochi at Kazariya.
mochi being grilled out front…it’s 15本hon (sticks) with green tea at ￥500 here, too.
umbrellas drying in the yard
a horse god in the area close to the exit to the aburi-mochi shops
the pavilion in the middle in front of the main hall…
with a scene of 初詣hatsumoude (New Year shrine visit)
the office area where one can buy お守りo-mamori (good luck charms), etc.
the main hall with large models of 鏑矢kaburaya (Japanese signal arrows), good luck charms at shrines to ward off evil spirits
the wash basin nearby
a closer look into the main hall
絵馬ema (prayers written on wooden plates)
a closer looks
the cluster of sub-temples
書き初めkaki-hajime (the first calligraphy of the year)
the main entrance to the shrine
賀正Gashou (Happy New Year) display outside the gate