Yasaka Shrine (Kyoto)
Yasaka Shrine Minami-romon Gate At Night, Kyoto
Yasaka Shrine Minami-romon Gate, Kyoto
Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto
Yasaka Shrine Buden Hall Dance Stage, Kyoto
Yasaka Shrine Main Hall, Kyoto
Yasaka Shrine Nishi-romon Gate, Kyoto
Yasaka Shrine Buden Hall, Kyoto
Facts & Figures
The famous Yasaka Shrine, also known as Gion Shrine, is one of the most popular Shinto Shrines in Kyoto. Yasaka Shrine complex is home to the guardian deity of the district and contains many buildings like the Main Hall, dance stage, impressive gates and much more.
Explore Ryokans in Kyoto
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions. Every evening hundreds of lanterns (sponsored by local businesses) get lid and create a unique atmosphere. It is my must-see recommendation for you. The largest summer festival in Kyoto, called Gion Matsuri, is also hosted at Yasaka Shrine. Right next to the shrine is the Maruyama Park located. The most popular spot in Kyoto for enjoying the hanami (cherry blossom) season.
- Kyoto Yasaka Shrine:
- Open: - whole day, 365 days a year
- Admission fee: - free
The origin of Yasaka Shrine is dating back till 656. The shrine is dedicated to some famous figures in Japanese mythology like Susanoo-no-Mikoto (brother of Amaterasu), Kushinadahime-Mikoto (the princess of Susanoo-no-mikoto), Yahashirano-mikogami (one of Susanoo-no-mikoto's eight children) and the kami against misfortunes and disasters. Most of the exisiting buildings at the shrine complex are from a reconstruction project in 1654.
Yasaka Shrine is located in the Gion District at the east end of Shijo-dori (Fourth Avenue) in Kyoto.
Address: 625 Gion-machi Kitagawa, Higashiyama-ku, 605-0073 Kyoto
How to get to Yasaka Shrine?
- 20min from Kyoto Station to Gion bus stop by bus nr. 100 or 206
Main Hall - covers an area of 1320 square meters (15m height) and its unique construction style is called Gion-zukuri, reconstructed in 1654 by the order of 4th Tokugawa Shogun
Buden Hall - dance performances, dedication and weddings ceremonies are held here
Nishi-romon Gate - main entrance gate for the shrine and a landmark in Kyoto, check out the fierce looking samurai warriors statues (Zuijin) on the right and left guarding the entrance
Minami-romon Gate - the beautiful South Gate of Yasaka Shrine
Ota Shrine - enshrined are Sarutahiko no Kami and Ame no Uzume no Mikoto
Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)
One day before spring arrives (lunar calendar) the Setsubun is celebrated. Bean throwing (Mame maki) ceremonies are held at the shrine to get a good fortune for the year. Do not miss the bonfire on the evening.
Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).
Ochatsubo Dochu (1st)
The Ochatsubo Dochu or Traveling Tea Canisters festival dates back to the Edo Period. It represents the practice of showing the new tea harvest from Uji to the ruling shogun in the old days. Now during the parade large ceramic containers with tea are carried by people wearing traditional costumes from Kenninji Temple to Yasaka Shrine.
Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.
Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).
Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.
The well-being and growth of young children is celebrated at the shrine and in the rest of Japan.