People pray; I want to win the game, want to achieve results at the competition, want to play with no regrets, want to play sports safely without getting injuries, want to recover from illness or injury soon, etc. There are many ancient shrines in Kyoto. Your wishes may be granted, so why don’t you visit them before or after games!

Fujinomori shrine has a long history. The shrine already existed when the capital of Japan was moved to Kyoto in Heian period (794-1185 A.D.). According to the shrine’s document, the shrine first started in 203 A.D., when Empress Jingu returned in triumph, set up the war flag in Fujinomori, placed armaments, and then conducted religious services. The title “Yuzue mandokoro” was given by Emperor Kammu when the capital was moved to Kyoto. Nowadays, many people come to the shrine to pray to the God of Winning, seeking support from the god before very important events such as sports competitions.

As I passed the “Torii gate” on the south side, I could see the shrine at the end of the wide and long approach. Every year on 5th May, a Shinto ritual “Kakeuma” is held here.
At a Shinto ritual “Kakeuma”, horse riders bravely dedicate acrobat performances on their horses. As a horse runs through the riding ground very fast, its rider stands on his hands on the horseback, hang from the horseback, sits backwards, etc.

If you get on a Keihan LINE train to Osaka from this shrine’s nearest station, and then get off at the 5th station (“Yodo” station), there is “Kyoto Racecourse”. Race horse owners and jockeys often visit here to pray for victory, and there are many large votive pictures of famous race horses in the shrine.
And, yes, there are many people coming to pray holding betting tickets.

When I went to the shrine office to get “Goshuin (a red ink stamp of a shrine, sometimes with writings in calligraphy)”, I found a sweet amulet amongst powerful looking votive pictures and amulets, it was very cute so I couldn’t help buying it.
It looks like as if it’s saying “Look at me before your big moment, and relax to do your best”.

This place is also known as a shrine filled with hydrangea. In June, tourists visit the shrine with cameras in their hands, some travel far to come here.

Want to know more ? Check out these 6 famous shrines to visit in Japan

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