Iwaya Jinja 岩屋神社, Kyoto

岩屋神社(いわやじんじゃ),  京都府京都市山科区.

Hand-drawn ema

Iwaya Jinja is in Yamashina Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture.

Torii Iwaya


Yamashina Ward is in southeast Kyoto. On the ema of Iwaya Jinja is written ” ichinomiya of Yamashina.” This very old shrine was originally a sacred place on the mountain with two megaliths. This explains its name (iwa, boulders; iwaya, “house” of boulders). They are called ingan and yogan, female and male rocks where kami descend. You can see photos of them at the official site of the shrine, link given below. The 奥之院 oku-no-in is only 2 km from the main honden which is on a street off the old post road to Edo. But the path to oku-no-in is so rocky and difficult that we were dissuaded from taking it. If you wish to try it, go off grounds through the red torii in the back.

Path to Okunoin

The front torii of Iwaya Jinja faces south. The three main kami are Ameno-Oshihomimi-no-mikoto, his wife Takahatachi-hime-no-mikoto, and their son Nigihayahi-no-mikoto. Note, Oshihomimi was the son and heir of the 8th Amakami Amateru.

There are seven shrines on the precincts. Among them, the Daijingu honors Amateru Okami and his grandfather Toyouke Okami.

Toyouke sha

Also in Yamashina Ward is Himukai Jinja, 日向神社(現日向大神宮, currently named Himukai-daijingu Shrine). This shrine, too, is very old and it enshrines Toyouke and Amateru.


Iwaya Jinja Ema