Updated: May 28, 2019
0 Bookmark

Kyoto's Yasaka Jinja and Gion Matsuri: A Quick Guide

Kyoto City

Yasaka Jinja (八坂神社) is one of Japan's most famous Shinto shrines, located in the famous Gion district in Kyoto. The ancient shrine is a popular tourist destination, and is also hosts the Gion Matsuri (festival) each year.

Feel free to follow favy!

About the shrine

yasaka_jinja_inside
Yasaka Jinja (known as Gion-sha until the Meiji restoration) is one of the most important shrines in Japan, with history dating back to the year 656. The shrine is very popular, with around 3,000 satellite shrines across Japan (according to the official website).

pixta_34767451_S
Yasaka Jinja is devoted to Susanowo-no-Mikoto, the god of sea and storms and his wife Kushiinadahime-no-Mikoto and their children. Susanowo-no-mikoto, incidentally, is the brother of Amaterasu, the god of the sun, from whom the Japanese imperial line is said to be descended.
美しいgozensha
Utsukushii-gozensha, a shrine to make you beautiful
The shrine features colorful, beautiful buildings including the main sanctuary and traditional dance stage decorated with lanterns. In addition, there is a secondary shrine for people who want to become more beautiful (including a fountain of water that is supposed to make you more beautiful if you sprinkle it on your face).

In case you're wondering about the correct way to pray at a Shinto shrine, here's a quick overview:

Gion Matsuri

gion_matsuri_night
Gion Matsuri at night
Gion Matsuri is a month-long festival put on by Yasaka Jinja that has been celebrated for more than 1,100 years! It is arguably the most famous festival in Japan, and happens every year in July.

The festival started back in 869, as an attempt to appease the gods when a plague spread throughout Japan. The festival has been celebrated almost every year since, and thousands upon thousands of people flock to Kyoto each year to see the festivities.

If you're in Kyoto during the month of July, the Gion area is the place to be in the evenings after 6pm. The area's roads are blocked to cars, and festival-goers can walk freely on the streets, enjoying the hundreds of vendors offering festival food and drinks!
gion_matsuri_guys
One of the biggest spectacles of the festival happens on the mornings of the 17th and 24th of July. This is the Yamaboko Junko, or parade of the Shrine mikoshi (wooden floats) along the streets of the Gion district. This is one of the most spectacular parades of its kind, and shouldn't be missed if you're in Kyoto!

Location and access

pixta_26944385_S
Yasaka Shrine is located at the end of Shijo-dori in the Gion district of Kyoto. The closest station is Gion Shijo Station, which is about 5 minutes away by foot. The shrine is free to enter, and is always open.

If you're in Kyoto, this is one shrine that you definitely don't want to miss, especially in July during the Gion Matsuri!
DeLong
I live in west Tokyo and spend most of my time thinking about food or going bouldering.

Trending Posts

1

What is Narutomaki? (The White and Pink Thing on Ramen)

2

Ramen Types Explained & Take away(Shio, Tonkotsu, Shoyu, Tsukemen and More!)

3

The 5 Best Beer In Japan You Need To Know About

4

All About Japanese Kani! How It's Used In Japan

5

Sashimi Guide: Types, Is it Safe?, Nutrition, and More!

More Trending Posts

Recommended For You!

1

Ninja Castle: Awesome Ninja-Themed Restaurant in Asakusa, Tokyo

favy
2

Coconut Glen's Coconut Ice Cream is a Must-Try in Omotesando!

favy
3

[Tokyo] Fresh Japanese Fish Served 'Californian Poke' Style!

favy
4

Giant Pork Bowls At Buta Daigaku in Shinjuku!

Foods hunter
5

Must-Try Gourmet Burger By a 24 Year-Old Chef: 'Farms' [Harajuku]

favy

Featured Posts

Michelin Star Restaurants In Tokyo & All Of Japan | Guide | Reservation

Halal Restaurants In Japan!

Things to do in Japan in all regions!

More Features

Events

Vintage Sake Renaissance 2019

Apr 21, Sun ~

Trending Tags