The Yasaka Cry, located in the Gion district in Kyoto, is often referred to as the Gion Shrine. The shrine is one of the most famous shrines in the city of Kyoto and is located at the end of Shijo-dori Street.
The grounds of the shrine include several buildings and gates. Including the main hall and also a stage.
Every year, Yakasa Shrine hosts numerous events and festivals that are important to the Japanese and is a popular destination for many visitors to Kyoto City.
The Yasaka Shrine respects the gods Susanoo-no-mikoto, Kushiinadahime-no-mikoto, and Yahashira-no-mikogami. Above all, Susanoo-no-mikoto is an important god in Japanese mythology, known for his victory over Yamata-no-orochi (a great serpent with eight heads: a symbol of numerous disasters).
The main hall of Yasaka Shrine has a unique architectural style. It shares this style with the worship hall and, although the two buildings are separate, they share a turret roof. Visitors can see the dance stage to the front of the main hall, along with hundreds of lanterns that are lit at night.
This large stone gate or torii was built in 1646. It has collapsed twice since but been rebuilt and replaced on both occasions. The last such incident was in 1666. It has been declared an Important Cultural Property and visitors can marvel at this stone gate as it proudly stands watch over the shrine grounds.
In front of the shrine, there is a fresh spring whose waters are said to polish beauty and improve the health of one’s skin. It’s called “beauty water” by worshippers and is especially popular with young women. The shrine also sells beauty amulets and in November has blessings for the improvement of beauty.
These portable shrines are believed to be divine. They’re paraded through the streets every year only during Gion Matsuri. This practice began in 869, as a way to ward off an epidemic plaguing Kyoto.
Yasaka Shrine is about a 5-minute walk from Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Line; alternatively, it can be reached by an 8-minute walk from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line.
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