Kotohiragu Shrine, located on Mt. Zozu in the small town of Kotohira, is visited by many pilgrims from all over Japan.
There are over 1,300 stone steps to climb up to the inner shrine
Kotohira-gu shrine is dedicated to sea navigation and fishing
A 10-minute walk from JR Kotohira station.
The shrine is 60 minutes from JR Takamatsu Station on the Dosan Line. Get off at JR Kotohira station.
Alternatively, Kotohira-gu shrine can be reached by taking the Kotohira line from Takamatsu Chikko station (60 minutes). The shrine is then a further five minutes by car from Kotoden Kotohira station.
There are many souvenir shops, cafes, teahouses, and udon noodle restaurants located in the area around the shrine. Popular souvenirs include the yellow happiness charms and the mini konpira dog figurines.
Once you have finished shopping and eating, the path to the main shrine hall takes around 45 minutes and consists of 785 steps. If you don't feel like walking, you can hire a palanquin and take in the sights as you are carried around.
The main shrine is dedicated to the gods of agriculture, livestock, medicine, and marine safety. Be sure to check out the paintings on the shrine's ceiling before you leave.
Next to the main shrine is the Ema Hall. Inside you will find displays and pictures of ships and other nautical vessels who sought protection from the shrine.
From here visitors can choose to climb an additional 583 steps to the inner shrine or descend back to the town.
After climbing all those steps, treat yourself to a soak at the Konpira hot springs back in Kotohira town.