Gooh Jinja, the Shrine of Zodiac Boar
Gooh Jinja (護王神社) is a shrine deeply connected with this year’s Japanese zodiac sign ”Boar”. That’s why the shrine is otherwise called “Inoshishi Jinja (The Shrine of Boar)”. The deity here is Wake no Kiyomaro (和気清麻呂), a contributor in the creation of Heian kyo (平安京, Kyoto, the former capital of Japan). It’s amazing to know that the shrine has such a long history of a thousand-some years.
According to the myth of the shrine, a bore appeared to heal the injured leg of Kiyomaro during his trip to the Kyushu (九州) region, guiding him safely to the destination. The god was pleased and let the boar be the messenger of the god. Because of this story, the shrine is considered as responsive to the prayers for good health, especially for the cure of injuries and illness of leg muscles.
During the New Year season, the shrine is very crowded with many visitors especially this year. It tells you that Japanese people still strongly believe in the sense of old zodiac system.
7 mins. on foot from Marutamachi station, Subway Karasuma line
In front of Karasuma Shimochojamachi bus stop, Kyoto city bus