Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto

Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto

The Yasaka Shrine is a Shinto temple located in the Gion District of Kyoto, and is famous for being the venue of the Gion Matsuri Summer festival celebrated in July. 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. Since then it has become an annual tradition in Kyoto.

The Yasaka Shrine was built in 656 AD and was dedicated to the God of prosperity, Susanoo-no-Mikoto, his wife and 8 children. The present shrine is the result of a reconstruction of the original buildings carried out in 1654.

The entrance to the Yasaka Shrine is through a red two-storey gate, called the Ro-Mon, flanked by statues of Shinto guardian Gods, while the steps to the shrine are guarded by figures of Korean Dogs. The Honden is the main hall where the Deity is worshiped. Worshipers 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 a 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:
One of the sites worth exploring in the Gion part of Kyoto, and a great starting point for a 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 around the grounds.
There are some decent street food options within and plenty of vending machines around so you won't go hungry/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.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Kyoto. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Yasaka Shrine on Map

Sight Name: Yasaka Shrine
Sight Location: Kyoto, Japan (See walking tours in Kyoto)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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.
Gion District Walking Tour

Gion District Walking Tour

Famed for being one of the most mesmerizing parts of Kyoto, Gion is the area long associated with traditional Japanese entertainment, stunning temples, geisha and local eateries ideal to while away a day in the ancient capital of Japan. The district forms part of the Higashiyama (“Eastern Mountain”) neighborhood lying north and south of Shijo Street, stretching from Yasaka Shrine in the east...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Imperial Kyoto Walking Tour

Imperial Kyoto Walking Tour

The former capital of Japan, Kyoto is the city of tradition, history and culture. Attesting to this is the central part of the city, replete with historic attractions – centuries-old imperial palaces, castles and shrines that have seen a lot in the turbulent past of Kyoto. The explore the most prominent of them and to feel the breath of antiquity, follow this self-guided walk.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Walk on Philosopher's Path

Walk on Philosopher's Path

Extending about 2 km along a canal carrying water from Lake Biwa to the foothills, the Philosopher's Path (so called because famed Japanese philosopher, Nishida Kitaro, used to walk it as a daily meditation before WWII) is perfect for a leisurely stroll with views that change through the seasons; cherries followed by new green leaves and, then again, the pastel hues of autumn.

It's...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Higashiyama Walking Tour

Higashiyama Walking Tour

Kyoto is a city catering for tourists, especially the ones with love of history, religion and, of course, Japanese culture. Many of Kyoto's attractions are located in the eastern part of the city, which itself is split into wards. One of them is the Higashiyama Ward, home to several famous temples of Kyoto, including centuries-old Zen and Shinto sites such as lantern-lit Yasaka shrine and...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Kyoto Shopping and Food Tour

Kyoto Shopping and Food Tour

The cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto is just as famous as a shopper’s paradise and is, without saying, the best place in the country to buy traditional and modern Japanese goods. Souvenirs, food, bargains and various “one-of-a-kind items” are all up for grabs here. If you would like to walk around Kyoto on your own two feet and enjoy shopping and authentic Japanese cooking, follow this...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Arashiyama and Bamboo Grove Walking Tour

Arashiyama and Bamboo Grove Walking Tour

The Arashiyama district is slightly out of way for tourists – but that just means one can enjoy it more comfortably. While arguably the most popular attraction here is the 'bamboo path' with its magnificent, towering bamboos, you should also enjoy other scenic attractions such as the Ōi River and Mount Arashi, or the Monkey Park, all within walking distance and selected/described in...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles

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