Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto

Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto (must see)

The Yasaka Shrine is a Shinto temple located in the Gion District of Kyoto. It is the venue of the Gion Matsuri Summer festival celebrated in July.

The Yasaka Shrine was built in 656 AD and was dedicated to the God of prosperity, Susanoo-no-Mikoto, his wife and 8 children. In 869, portable shrines called the Omikoshi were paraded through the streets of Kyoto as an appeal to the deity for relief from a deadly epidemic that ravaged the city. It has become an annual event in Kyoto. The present shrine was the result of a reconstruction of the original buildings in 1654.

The entrance to the Yasaka Shrine is through a red two-storey gate called the Ro-Mon. The entrance is flanked by statues of Shinto guardian Gods and the steps to the shrine are guarded by figures of Korean Dogs. The Honden is the main hall where the Deity is worshipped. Worshippers ring the bell at the entrance to wake the Deity up before praying. To the left of the Honden is the hall for offerings and to the right is the hall where religious ceremonies are performed. Kyoto residents flock to the shrine on New Year Day to pray for prosperity in the coming year. The Maruyama Park near the shrine is Kyoto’s most famous venue for cherry blossom viewing in spring.

Why You Should Visit:
Among the sites to explore in the Gion part of Kyoto, and a great starting point for your walk to Kiyomizu-dera.
You can visit the shrine at any time as the gates are never closed. It is free to enter to wander amongst the grounds.
There are some decent street food options within and plenty of vending machines around so you won't go thirsty.

Tip:
Try visiting in the evening when the lanterns are illuminated everywhere in the shrine surroundings. The view on the city from the main gate is also particularly nice at this time.
If you go in the late afternoon just before sunset you'll find lots of girls wearing traditional clothes. If you are polite they will probably love to smile for your picture.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour in Kyoto, Japan, in the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded on iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline so no data plan is needed.

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Sight Map

Sight Name: Yasaka Shrine
Sight Location: Kyoto, Japan
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Higashiyama Area Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Kyoto, Japan

Create Your Own Walk in Kyoto

Create Your Own Walk in Kyoto

Creating your own self-guided walk in Kyoto is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Central Kyoto Walking Tour

Central Kyoto Walking Tour

They say visiting Japan without seeing Kyoto is worthless, because a visit to Japan will never be complete without knowing Kyoto's treasures. A city of tradition, history, and culture, Kyoto has plenty of touristic spots to offer. The next walking tour takes you to the core of Kyoto and the main attractions of the city that are located in its central area. Enjoy!

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.4 km
Ukyo-ku Walking Tour

Ukyo-ku Walking Tour

Ukyo-ku is one of the eleven wards of Kyoto and it comprises the northwestern corner of the city. This area contains a large number of important religious complexes, some of them listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most famous attractions of Ukyo-ku in Kyoto are selected and described in the next walking tour. So check it out and enjoy your Kyoto adventure.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.7 km
Kyoto Museums Walking Tour

Kyoto Museums Walking Tour

Even though Kyoto is famous for its wide variety of religious sites, this city is the home of several museums as well. The majority of them are dedicated to Japanese culture, ranging from history to fashion and the arts. A large number of Kyoto's museums are located in its eastern areas, where the next self-guided tour is about to take you. Check it out and prepare to get an insight into the culture of one of the most powerful and refined nations of the world.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 2

Souvenir Shopping Part 2

It would be a pity to leave Kyoto without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Kyoto, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.3 km
Kita-ku Temples and Shrines Tour

Kita-ku Temples and Shrines Tour

Kita-ku is one of Kyoto's wards, located in the northern part of the city. Kita Ward contains some spectacular religious sites, such as the famous Golden Pavilion and the ancient Daitoku-ji Temple, as well as a museum dedicated to world peace. Find them all selected and described in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.6 km
Philosopher's Path Area Walk

Philosopher's Path Area Walk

Tetsugaku no Michi, or Philosopher's Walk, is a well-known route in Kyoto which starts at the famous Ginkaku-ji Temple and heads south to the Nanzen-ji Temple. It follows a stone path by a cherry-tree-lined canal that was once walked daily by Nishida Kitaro, a famous philosopher and professor at Kyoto University. The Philosopher's Walk passes by some major shrines and other places of interest of Kyoto making up this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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