Kataoka-sha: Shrine of Love at Kamigamo-jinja, Kyoto (HDR Photo)

Kataoka Shrine 「片岡社」

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This small structure is a sub-shrine of the World Heritage Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto. Many shrine complexes contain multiple shrines, often dedicated to deities who have a connection to the area. Another example is the Soga Brothers Shrine and 9-Headed-Dragon Shrine at Hakone Shrine.

Shrine at Kamigamo-jinja in Kyoto (HDR Photo)

NIKON D5200 (18mm, f/3.5, 1/125 sec, ISO100)
Kataoka Shrine 「片岡社」 at Kamigamo-jinja in Kyoto (HDR Photo)

The shrine is dedicated to the mother of the main deity of Kamigamo Shrine. Wooden ema prayer boards in the shape of a love heart hang in front of the shrine, on which people write prayers to the mother-god for a good marriage, children and love.

Traditional Shinto marriage ceremonies are held here, and the Kataoka-sha is an important visit during the ceremony’s rituals.

Located just beyond Kamigamo-jinja’s second torii, but before the rōmon (tower gate, 楼門) leading to the main worship hall, this tiny shrine is tucked away on the edge of a sacred forest, and even has its own small ceremonial bridge.

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