Check tour

Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine, also known as Yasaka-jinja, is one of the most prominent and popular Shinto shrines in Kyoto, Japan. Located in the Gion district, it holds great cultural and historical significance in the city. Here is some important information about Yasaka Shrine:

History: Yasaka Shrine was originally established in the 7th century and was known as Gion Shrine. It was built to protect Kyoto from a series of epidemics that plagued the city during that time. Over the centuries, the shrine has undergone several renovations and expansions, making it the grand structure we see today.

Significance: Yasaka Shrine is closely associated with the Gion Matsuri, one of the most famous festivals in Japan. The festival takes place annually in July and features colorful processions, traditional music, dance performances, and food stalls. During this time, the shrine becomes the center of the festivities, attracting millions of visitors.

Architecture: The shrine's architectural style is a blend of Shinto and Buddhist influences, known as Shinbutsu-shūgō. The main gate, called the Romon, is an impressive two-story structure adorned with intricate carvings. The main hall, or honden, is a designated national treasure and features a beautiful thatched roof.

Tips for Visitors: When visiting Yasaka Shrine, it's important to respect the sacredness of the place. Here are some tips:

1. Dress modestly: As with any religious site, it is advisable to dress respectfully. Avoid wearing revealing or inappropriate clothing.

2. Observe customs: Before entering the shrine, purify yourself by washing your hands and rinsing your mouth at the temizuya (water basin) located near the entrance.

3. Take part in rituals: You can participate in various rituals at the shrine, such as making offerings, ringing the bell, or writing a wish on an ema (wooden plaque).

4. Explore the surroundings: Yasaka Shrine is located in the heart of the Gion district, known for its traditional wooden machiya houses and geisha culture. Take a stroll through the charming streets to fully experience the ambiance of old Kyoto.

5. Visit during the Gion Matsuri: If possible, plan your visit to coincide with the Gion Matsuri in July. It's a fantastic opportunity to witness traditional Japanese culture and join in the festivities.

Yasaka Shrine is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Kyoto. Its rich history, cultural significance, and beautiful architecture make it an enchanting place to explore and experience the essence of traditional Japan.