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Spring at Kotohira-gu Shrine

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Spring at Kotohira-gu Shrine


Cherry blossoms and a traditional spring ritual welcome visitors to Kotohira-gu Shrine, Japan

Kagawa Prefecture Tourism Association


Enshrining a deity of sea travel, Kotohira-gu Shrine has been worshiped for years and is a prominent tourist destination in Kagawa Prefecture. The shrine is also known for its two intimidatingly long stairways, with 785 steps to the main shrine and another 583 steps to the inner shrine.


In spring, about 3,500 cherry trees bloom in the grounds and fascinate visitors with beautiful scenery. Every year on April 10, a ritual called Ouka-sai (Cherry Blossom Festival) is performed to celebrate the arrival of spring. Miko (Shinto priestesses) and shinshoku (Shinto priests) gracefully walk in procession, with branches of cherry blossoms in the miko’s hands and smaller branches attached to the shinshoku’s kanmuri (a special kind of headwear).


How to get there


From Shin-Osaka Station, ride the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen bound for Hakata Station to Okayama Station (1 hour), then ride a Nanpu-go train bound for Kochi Station to Kotohira Station (1 hour). The shrine is about a 30-minute walk away.


892-1 kotohira-cho, Nakatado-gun, Kagawa-ken


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