Yasaka Jinja is one of the most revered religious spots in Kyoto. The shrine is almost always buzzing with energy, with eager devotees flocking to receive blessings and pray for good fortune. Visit this key Shinto shrine in Kyoto and you may earn some good fortune yourself.
The main hall is nearly 360 years old
Yasaka Jinja is popular with those praying for beauty and wealth
Access Yasaka Jinja by bus, taxi or subway from Kyoto Station.
A bus from Kyoto Station will take you directly to the entrance of the shrine. You can also use the subway and enjoy the short walk from Gion-Shijo or Kawaramachi stations. Alternatively, take a taxi if you are short on time.
You might hear locals lovingly refer to Yasaka Jinja, their neighborhood shrine, as "Gion-san." The towering red gate to the west of Gion is perhaps Yasaka Jinja's most iconic and photogenic image. Go through the vermilion gate to enter the main shrine grounds, complete with an impressive offering hall and a central stage adorned with lanterns.
Yasaka Jinja is perhaps best known for July's Gion Matsuri, one of Japan's most famous festivals, when Kyoto becomes a city focused on celebration for most of the month. If you visit on July 17, you'll be treated to the spectacle of Yasaka's deity being carried out of the shrine and paraded around the city. It's a time of pomp, color and energy like no other in Kyoto.
Wandering through the shrine grounds in the evening is especially atmospheric. The main buildings are illuminated after dark, and the softly glowing lanterns create an unforgettable scene. The area surrounding the shrine is filled with restaurants, making a trip to Yasaka Jinja a good option for an after-dinner walk.