Yasaka Shrine

The guardian deity of Hanamachi (the geisha quarter). It provides protection against evil, avoid disease, and prosperity of business.

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A shrine located close to Hanamachi , the origin of Kyoto’s Gion district. It is popular as a place to earn the grace of the gods for protection against evil, warding off of disease, business success, matchmaking, and beauty among other things.
Business Hours
Saturday ( 12:0 AM ~ 12:0 AM )
Sunday ( 12:0 AM ~ 12:0 AM )
Weekdays ( 12:0 AM ~ 12:0 AM )
625 Giommachi Kitagawa Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
(075) 561-6155

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A venerable shrine for the Gion Festival

Yasaka Shrine was established in 656, approximately 150 years before the transfer of the capital to Kyoto. Affectionately called Gion-san, it can be visited from a walk through Hanamachi. Its guardian deity is known as Susano Kushi-inada Hime Yahashiranomiko-kami. Revered from all over Japan as the capital underwent development, even today, it has 3000 branch shrines all over the nation. The Gion Festival which is the great annual summer festival for Kyoto which lasts for almost a month from July 1st is the festival of Yasaka Shrine. It was begun in 869 as a way to ward off an epidemic. During the festival, there is a custom in which parishioners are not allowed to eat any cucumbers, the reason being that the cut end of the cucumber resembles the crest for Yasaka Shrine which is greatly revered.

Share good luck through the proper methods of worship

Facing away from Gion, you will come across the beautiful west roumon gate painted in vermillion. Many tourists enter the shrine through this gate but it’s actually not the front entrance. If you face the west roumon gate and climb up the slope to your right for a bit, there will be a stone torii gate right in front of you. The south roumon gate that is beyond it is the actual main entrance. Once you have cleansed your hands and mouth at the chozuya well on the way to the shrine, you will reach the main shrine. And then when you have made your prayers to ward off evil and hope for good health and business prosperity, don’t forget to stop by Okuninushi Shrine near the main shrine. It’s known for good luck in matchmaking.

Get that strength for success in life at the power spot for beauty!

Make your way out of the shrine through the west roumon gate. But before that, make your way to Utsukushigozensha to the right of the main shrine. For people in the know, it is the place of the god of beauty where maiko and geisha visit. It is said that if you drink the Gion spring water and sacred water at the east of the main shrine and then visit Utsukushigozensha, you will gain in beauty. In front of the shrine, there is also beauty water which is supposed to be good for the skin. Apply 2 or 3 drops to your face and then pray. It is said that for the maiko who pray at Yasaka Shrine, they gain a special power for success in life. Those secrets may be hidden in these two types of water.

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8 years ago
Beautiful for an afternoon walk
Yasaka Shrine is at the heart of Kyoto and it is beautiful. If you are lucky, you can see a wedding happening and view how beautiful it is the Japanese traditional wedding. From here you can walk to Kyomizu Dera, its a pretty long walk, but worth it, as the entire way is amazingly beautiful. Just be careful with the time if you want to visit the temples, as they close fairly early. If you come here at night, everything will be closed but it will still be beautiful, and you may enjoy some traditional festival food at the entrance .
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