Yasaka-jinja Shrine 八坂神社
A lively shrine that is home to the Gion Matsuri
Yasaka-jinja Shrine 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 Shrine is popular with those praying for beauty and wealth
How to Get There
Access the shrine by bus, taxi or subway from Kyoto Station .
A bus from Kyoto Station will take you directly to the shrine's entrance. 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.
- View the traditional Gion-zukuri architecture as you stroll the shrine grounds
- Visit after dark to enjoy the many lanterns that illuminate the shrine
- Head to nearby Maruyama Park to relax in natural surroundings
Embrace a Gion treasure
You might hear locals lovingly refer to Yasaka-jinja Shrine, their neighborhood shrine, as "Gion-san." The towering red gate to the west of Gion is perhaps the shrine's'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.
The birthplace of the Gion Matsuri
The shrine 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 .
For an unforgettable evening stroll
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 Shrine a good option for an after-dinner walk.