Attraction 625 Gionmachi Kitagawa Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0073 Japan Published on: 29-02-2016
Image copyrights belong to authors
Why Yasaka Shrine is special ?
Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社, YasakaJinja), also known as Gion Shrine, is one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto. Founded over 1350 years ago, the shrine is located between the popular Gion District and Higashiyama District, and is often visited by tourists walking between the two districts.
Yasaka Shrine is well known for its summer festival, the GionMatsuri, which is celebrated every July. Arguably the most famous festival in the whole country, the GionMatsuri dates back over a thousand years and involves a procession with massive floats and hundreds of participants. The shrine also becomes busy during the cherry blossom season around early April, as the adjacent Maruyama Park is one of the most famous cherry blossom spots in Kyoto.
What to explore at Yasaka Shrine?
Visitors to the shrine enter through the Ro-mon, a two-story gate with bright red posts and white walls at the top of the steps from Shijo-dori (Fourth Avenue). The entrance is protected from evil spirits by flanking Shinto guardians. Just past the gate are stone Korean lion-dogs (koma-inu), who protect the stairs that lead to the main part of the shrine.
On the left of the central area is the Haiden (offertory building), and opposite it is a roofed ceremonial stage for religious ceremonies. The many lanterns that decorate the shrine's stage are lit after dark and bear the names of their sponsors, mostly Kyoto businesses. Also in this area is a roofed water basin for purification and storage sheds for the Mikoshi.
The most important building at Yasaka is the Honden (spirit hall), a single-story building with a wooden shingle roof. Here worshippers wake up the god with a rattle of the pan shaped bells at the front of the building, then pray before the altar.
Located just next to shrine grounds is Maruyama Park, Kyoto's most popular spot for viewing cherry blossoms (hanami) in spring.
How to get to Yasaka Shrine?
Yasaka Shrine can be reached by bus from Kyoto Station in about 20 minutes. Take number 100 or 206 and get off at Gion bus stop. The closest train stations are GionShijo Station on the Keihan Line and Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line.
Alternatively, the 20-30 minute walk from Kiyomizudera through the narrow lanes of the Higashiyama District to Yasaka Shrine is highly recommended.
- A beautiful shrine and park
- You Can't Miss the Place with the Size of its Gate
- The start of a journey through tim
- More stunning at night
- Great at night
625 Gionmachi Kitagawa Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0073 Japan
Tips for you
Standing on popular and bustling Gion area. If you walk along the Shijyo street from Kawaramachi to the east, you will astonished at scarlet pillars of the entrance. Very showy and outstanding. Adjacent to Maruyama park, it is must for tourists. Also famous for Gion festival (very magnificent and animated) as one of the largest festivals in Kyoto. I've not seen the parade of Hoko yet. I've visited Gion area on the previousnight of the parade called "Yoiyama" , when the area was too jam-packed to stroll freely. Besides Gion festival annual events are held, so please check it on the website. Taking a walk in the gardens of Maruyama park adjacent to the shrine is also good!
Long connected with the Kyoto Geisha community centered in the nearby Gion District, Yasaka-jinja Shrine is a bustling, colorful and pleasant downtown shrine.
Well, not really a dedicated gate but if you are walking to this place, you can spot its proximity by the large, bright orange gate before you approach the entrance. From there, it is about 5 - 10 minutes walk depending on your speed. There's no cost to enter and once you are in, you get to view .the left and right buildings that are conducive and inviting for photographs and selfies. Read the signs while enjoying your walk. There are no photo restrictions so here's a photo shared.