A mountainside shrine dedicated to safe navigation for sailors, Kotohiragu Shrine is located on Mt. Zozu in the small town of Kotohira, japan. This shrine holds great significance for sailors and pilgrims from all over the country who come to seek blessings for safe voyages and navigation. With its stunning architecture and beautiful surroundings, Kotohiragu Shrine is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japanese culture and history.
The shrine is home to various attractions and activities that make it a popular tourist spot. One of the main highlights of the shrine is the standing Juichimen Kannon, an eleven-faced statue of the goddess of mercy. This statue is believed to bring blessings and protection to sailors and is a symbol of hope and safety.
Another popular activity at the shrine is purchasing a beautiful Kofuku no Kiiroi Omamori, a yellow charm of happiness. These charms are believed to bring good fortune and happiness to those who possess them. Visitors can buy these charms as souvenirs or for personal use, and they serve as a reminder of the blessings received at Kotohiragu Shrine.
To reach the inner shrine, visitors have to climb over 1,300 stone steps. Although it may be a challenging task, the journey is worth it as it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the town below. As visitors ascend the steps, they can feel a sense of tranquility and spirituality, making the experience even more memorable.
Kotohiragu Shrine is dedicated to sea navigation and fishing, which reflects the importance of these activities in the region’s history and culture. The shrine serves as a place of worship and gratitude for the blessings of the sea, and many fishermen and sailors visit the shrine to pray for safety and success in their endeavors.
The shrine also offers a glimpse into the local lifestyle and traditions. Surrounding the shrine, there are numerous souvenir shops, cafes, teahouses, and udon noodle restaurants. These establishments provide an opportunity for visitors to experience local delicacies and purchase unique souvenirs that showcase the region’s culture and craftsmanship.
Once visitors have explored the surrounding area and enjoyed the local cuisine, they can proceed to the main shrine hall. The path to the main shrine hall takes around 45 minutes, including 785 stone steps. Along the way, visitors can admire the beautiful scenery and immerse themselves in the peaceful ambiance of the shrine.
At the main shrine, visitors can find the omamori office, where they can purchase yellow amulets of happiness. These amulets are believed to bring good luck and protect the bearer from harm. Additionally, visitors can also find tengu amulets at the inner shrine. Tengu is a mythical creature in Japanese folklore known for its protective powers.
Inside the main shrine hall, visitors can witness the intricate paintings on the ceiling. These paintings depict various scenes from Japanese mythology and history, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Japan. Taking the time to observe these paintings from different angles allows visitors to appreciate the artistic craftsmanship and attention to detail.
After visiting the main shrine, visitors can choose to climb an additional 583 steps to reach the inner shrine or descend the stone staircase back to the town. The inner shrine is a sacred place where visitors can offer their prayers and seek blessings for their specific needs and desires.
Once visitors have completed their journey at the shrine, they can treat themselves to a relaxing soak at the Konpira hot springs located in the town of Kotohira. These hot springs offer a therapeutic experience and are a perfect way to unwind and rejuvenate after a long day of exploration.
In conclusion, Kotohiragu Shrine is a magnificent destination that offers a unique blend of spirituality, natural beauty, and cultural heritage. With its dedication to safe navigation for sailors and its stunning architecture, the shrine attracts visitors from all walks of life. Whether it’s seeking blessings for safe voyages, exploring the stone steps, or immersing oneself in the local culture, Kotohiragu Shrine provides an unforgettable experience that showcases the best of Japanese tradition and history.
Address And Maps Location:
892-1 Kotohira, Nakatado-gun, Kagawa-ken