A Temple Less Crowded yet Equally Divine

Yasui Konpira-gu, Kyoto

Say the word Kyoto and immediately images of temples and shrines and all things traditionally Japanese spring to mind. It's Kyoto's inseparable association with the most beautiful and noble that Japan has to offer that makes it a choice destination for over 50,000,000 tourists that visit "The City of Ten Thousand Shrines" each year - the city that was chosen in 2014 as world's best city by U.S. travel magazine.

But because those numbers of people do pass through to experience Kyoto's awe-inspiring national treasures, visiting a site can often make one feel like a cow caught in a stampede of a dozen other herd of cows.

If you're like me and prefer quiet to crowds, here's an introduction to one of the smaller, lesser known (and less frequented) shrines in Kyoto: Yasui Konpira-gu.

Yasui Konpira-gu is located within earshot of must-see tourist meccas such as Kiyomizu Temple, Yasaka Shrine and Maruyama Park, and has a history that begins during the reign of Emperor Tenchi (668 to 671 C.E.), Japan's 38th emperor.

Only a minute walk from Higashiyama Yasui bus station, it's known as a shrine with powers to end bad relationships and begin good ones, as well as turn undesirable fate around; one whose enshrined god (Omononushi no Kami) is regarded as a god of guidance on the road and sea and travelers in general.

The shrine's most peculiar and remarkable item is its 1.5 meters high by 3 meters wide rock-shaped monolith, complete with a hole in the middle through which bad luck is shed and good luck is gained (see picture above). One only has to write their "katashiro" (good luck prayer) and paste it to the stone - and then ritually enter and exit the hole to have their wish come true.

The shrine is opened to public throughout the day; reception is from 9:00-17.30. If you go early morning you may be lucky enough to enjoy the temple and its grounds all to yourself. Rest assured others will eventually come, but Yasui Konpira-gu is one of the "not quite but practically hidden gems" of the area.

Highly recommended.


From Kyoto Station (JR and Kintetsu Lines)
Take No. 206 City Bus bound for Kitaoji Bus Terminal.
Get off at “Higashiyama Yasui”, from there just a one minute walk south

Keihan Railways, Hankyu Railways
10-minute walk from “Gion Shijo” Station (Keihan Main Line)
15-minute walk from “Kawaramachi” Station (Hankyu Kyoto Line)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

United Kingdom

Former Deep Japan Writer's other advice

Let's Go Swimming in Yokohama! images

Let's Go Swimming in Yokohama!

In my last post, I talked about swimming at Yokohama's International Swimming Pool: http://www.deepjapan.org/a/4437But, of course, there are plenty of other pools in Yokohama where you can go to …

Quick and easy things to do in Yokohama #14 images

Quick and easy things to do in Yokohama #14

Summer time means trips to the beaches and swims in the ocean, but the Yokohama International Swimming Pool is open all year long. It's also one of the the biggest and most beautiful pool facilities …

Best book-browsing, electronic-buying, time-killing spot in Tokyo images

Best book-browsing, electronic-buying, time-killing spot in Tokyo

Tsutaya Electric store opened its doors on Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 in the Futako-Tamagawa Rise building. Dubbed as a "lifestyle shop", its layout gives a whole new experience to purchasing products suc…

Once Only Space and Survival Foods Now Convenience Store Snacks images

Once Only Space and Survival Foods Now Convenience Store Snacks

According to a well-written article on the subject, "freeze-drying technology was originally developed for the production of medicine and is probably best-known among consumers for its use in instant…

Experience the Edo Period at the Edo-Tokyo Museum images

Experience the Edo Period at the Edo-Tokyo Museum

The Edo-Tokyo Museum was established in 1993, and remains one of Tokyo's most interesting musems, featuring the history of Tokyo during the Edo periodAmong its main permanent exhibition features …

Another Easy and Affordable Way to Beat Tsuyu (the Rainy Season) images

Another Easy and Affordable Way to Beat Tsuyu (the Rainy Season)

Two years ago I wrote about one of my favourite summer dishes: "Hiyashi Chuka" - chilled Chinese noodles. It's a summer staple in Japan because it's tasty, light, and refreshing - a perfect meal to b…

You might also like

5 Traditional Japanese Villages to Explore images

5 Traditional Japanese Villages to Explore

The rural area of Japan is quite worth an exploration. Many villages in Japan have typical Japanese styles. Although they are quite far away from big cities, you can enjoy enchanting natural views an…

Alexlovetravel image


Agemanju - Sweet Deep-fried Cakes in Asakusa images

Agemanju - Sweet Deep-fried Cakes in Asakusa

There are many good reasons for a visit to Asakusa: Senso-ji temple’s gates and pagoda, tiny Hanayashiki amusement park, Japanese kabuki theaters, old restaurants, and shops selling kimonos and festi…

David image


How to be Polite in a Restaurant in Japan? images

How to be Polite in a Restaurant in Japan?

These are not just little finger towels placed neatly next to your plate for conveniently wiping stray food off of hands and fingers...these Oshibori are almost like an appetizer to the meal itself. …


Tatami smells good !!! images

Tatami smells good !!!

Tatami is a very traditional floor mat, which is a symbolic item indispensable for a Japanese style room; so called "Wa-shitsu", and is also considered as an official cultural gadget necessarily used…

Masa image


Kaminari-okoshi: Asakusa Thunder Crackers images

Kaminari-okoshi: Asakusa Thunder Crackers

Kaminari-okoshi (雷おこし) are traditional Japanese sweets. Crispy rice is mixed with sugar and syrup, pressed down into a flat shape and cut into squares. Often there are some peanuts mixed into it,…

David image


Aritsugu - famous "Hocho" (cooking knives) brand images

Aritsugu - famous "Hocho" (cooking knives) brand

"Aritsugu" is one of the famous Hocho brand in Japan. They have shops at two locations - Kyoto and Tsukiji(Tokyo). Tsukiji's one is set up by Kyoto Aritsugu. I found the below video clip from You…

EmiOnishi image