There are many famous historic shrines and temples in Kita Ward, Kyoto City. Among them, the historical shrine where the god of epidemics was enshrined to quell the plague from the era of Heiankyo is “Imamiya Jinja Shrine”. Currently, it is said that there is a benefit for “Avoidance of Bad Luck”, “Health and Longevity” and “Good Match”. More recently, it is popular among women as “Tama no Koshi Jinja” (Shrine for “marry into the purple”) in Kyoto. Every year on the second Sunday in April, “Yasurai Matsuri Festival” will be held, one of the three biggest festivals in Kyoto. It is a festival to calm down the god of epidemics distracting people by dispersing the cherry blossoms during the season.
The foundation of Imamiya Jinja Shrine was in the Heian era in 994 years. A large-scale epidemic has spread in the capital, and Imamiya Jinja Shrine was founded to quell it. After that, as a shrine dedicated to the god of epidemics, it has been gathered faith as having the interests of “State of Perfect Health” and “Health and Longevity”.
The reason why this place became famous as “Tama no Koshi Jinja” (Shrine for “marry into the purple”) is related to Keishoin, the wife of the 3rd generation Tokugawa Shogun and the the mother of 5th generation general Tsunayoshi. Keishoin was born in a greengrocer at Nishijin in Kyoto and is said to have been called “Otama”. That “Otama” was a woman who strongly admired Imamiya Jinja Shrine. Since then, as a generic mother of the general, as rising to the first rank in O-oku (shogun’s harem), there is a theory that it became the origin of “Tama no Koshi”.
This is “Ahokashi-san” which is a strange stone of Imamiya. It is said that this is said to be “Kamiuchi-ishi” for a long time, and if weak people stroke a stone with the palm of their hands and stroke while praying bad places in the palm, it will accelerate health recovery. It is also said to be “Omokaru-ishi” (heavy or light stone). If you lift it gently with the palm of your hand three times while lifting it up, it gets heavier, then it will lift with your wishes three times and if you get lighter it seems that your wish will come true.
Imamiya Jinja Shrine is also famous for “Aburi-mochi” (rice cake). There are two well-established stores selling Aburi-mochi in front of East Gate, from the side of Imamiya Jinja Shrine, the left side shop is “Kazari-ya” and “Ichiwa” is on the right side. These shops have an old history, it is said to be Japan’s oldest sweet shop from the Heian era, Kazuwa is 1000 years of foundation, Kazari-ya is 600 years. There is a legend that Aburi – mochi was served for ordinary people suffering from starvation at the approach of the shrine when Kyoto was burned down during the Onin War (broke out in 1467).
|Name:||Imamiya Jinja Shrine|
|Address:||Murasakinoimamiyacho 21 Kyoto Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8243 Japan|
|Access:||Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma-sen Line “Kitaoji-eki Station” (8 minutes by car)|