Kumano shrine near Ayabe in Kyoto prefecture has an air of mystery about it. The grounds includes a large shrine and garden as well as several smaller shrines and is tucked away deep in the mountains. The founding date of the shrine is unknown and its remote location gives it the feeling of being a hidden shrine; especially in winter when it is covered with snow or shrouded in fog. Yet, all this means that the shrine sits among unspoiled natural beauty. While the shrine is not well known, it is revered by those who do know about it.
The nearby town is famous for being home to the Heike clan who lost a war over 800 years ago and moved to the gorge in exile and are immortalized in the tale "Heike no Ochiudo Densetsu." The clan built the shrine to the diety Kumano and is where it gets its name from. The town is also well known for being an excellent source of Japanese “washi” paper due to the abundance of mulberry trees and the clear water of the gorge river.
17 Miyagaya, Kurotani-cho, Ayabe City, Kyoto
- Train: From the south exit of Ayabe Station on the JR Sanin Line, take the Aya Bus Kurotani Line and get off at "Kurotani Washi Kaikan-mae," walk for about 10 minutes.
Car: Approximately 8 minutes from "Ayabe Ankokuji IC" on the Kyoto Jukan Expressway
Number of regular vehicles: 5 spaces available