Kyoto in summer: A special trip to Kifune shrine recharges the soul

This summer, Central Japan Railway is inviting people to go to Kyoto with a special Soda Kyoto Iko (“That’s right, Let’s go to Kyoto!”) campaign. The campaign includes quite a few special Kyo no Ryo Sagashi (“Seek for Cool within the Capital”) programs created together with local shrines and temples, which offer visitors with latest ways to remain cool while sightseeing within the notoriously hot city, while also offering never-before-seen gifts and advantages.

One shrine participating is the attractive Kifune, which stays a top destination for travelers, and JR Central has a suggested itinerary that our reporter Tasuku Egawa recently tried for himself. He says it made for one in all his most memorable travel experiences he’s ever had, so let’s follow along and see what made his day trip to Kifune so special.

The day began at Demachiyanagi Station, where Egawa waited to board a train north to Kifune on the Eizan Electric Railway line. Egawa felt the sweat trickle down his neck as he waited for the train, because it had been hot and humid for the reason that early hours of the morning. Just as he began to wonder if sightseeing in Kyoto in the course of the heat of summer can be value it, he became distracted by an approaching train, which looked unlike some other he’d ever seen before.

This was the Hiei train, the latest train on the road, which runs from Demachiyanagi to Yase-Hieizanguchi Station. Japan loves pun, and Hiei sounds just like hie, which suggests “coldness” or “chilliness”, making it especially perfect for the “Seek for Cool within the Capital” promotion.

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Unfortunately, Egawa’s ticket didn’t include a journey on the Hiei, but visitors concerned with boarding the train can book a distinct tour in this system, which allows visitors to ride the train while listening to Japanese ghost stories told by a Buddhist priest.

▼ Egawa’s journey would involve a distinct train, the “Kirara”, which is currently having fun with a tie-up with Manga Time Kirara.

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▼ On the skin, the Kirara might look somewhat plainer to the Hiei sightseeing train.

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▼ But as soon as you step inside, you’ll realise this is not any bizarre train.

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The windows are large and the seats on one side face outwards, allowing you to totally benefit from the passing scenery, which at times makes you’re feeling as for those who’re flying through the treetops.

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After around 26 minutes, Egawa alighted at Kibuneguchi Station and switched to a neighborhood train for the four-minute journey to Kifune shrine and its famous stone stairs, which frequently appear on Instagram posts.

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The stone stairs are often one in all the highlights of a visit to the shrine, but until August 31, there’s one more reason to go to, as cooling wind chimes and pinwheels are on display as a part of the Soda Kyoto Iko campaign.

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Surrounded by large trees, Kifune shrine is noticeably cooler than the middle of Kyoto, making it a nice site to go to in summer.

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Plus, you get to check out the bizarre “Water Fortune Mikuji“, a paper fortune that floats on water and divulges the extent of fortune you’ve acquired.

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▼ Kifune shrine is devoted to the god of water and rain.

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When you’ve enjoyed visiting Kifune shrine, you’ll be able to round off the trip with a meal at a long-established inn/restaurant called Hiroya, which is situated only a stone’s throw from the shrine.

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Chosen by Central Railway Company as a advisable stop on their suggested route, this restaurant will not be as well-known because the waterside eateries along Kyoto’s Kamo River, but that’s what makes it so special.

▼ Diners listed here are in a position to eat their meals right above the water.

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There isn’t even a guard rail between diners and the side of the platform, making you’re feeling totally at one with nature.

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The river flows fast, providing a cool accompaniment to the meal. And what a meal it’s, crammed with local summer specialties to maintain you cool in the warmth and offer you just the precise amount of sustenance for the journey home.

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Egawa’s day trip to Kifune shrine is one he’ll always remember, and by the tip of his trip, he felt fully recharged and able to tackle the remainder of whatever summer has in store for him.

Images provided by JR Central

Photos © SoraNews24

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