• Kotohira-gu's photo

Kotohira-gu

Kotohira


Konpira Pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime dream for many Japanese people

Visiting the famous Kotohira-gu shrine — nicknamed Konpira-san — is a challenge for travelers. To reach this sacred place halfway up 521-meter-high Zouzu-san (Mt. Zouzu), you have to climb a long staircase of 785 stone steps. Then, to reach Izutama-jinja (Izutama shrine) located at the mountaintop, you must climb 1,368 additional stone steps. Since this is one of the most difficult shrine/temple roads (sando) in Japan, you may encounter many visitors using bamboo canes for support. However, those who complete this arduous climb are rewarded by the spectacle of the gorgeous main shrine and stunning views from the summit. It is indeed a satisfying experience for anyone who surmounts this difficult challenge.

  • Kotohira-gu's photo
  • Kotohira-gu's photo

Valuable paintings and Buddha statues — many national treasures — await you

The attraction of Kotohira-gu pilgrimage is not only its holy site and scenic grandeur but also the opportunity to enjoy traditional arts during the climb. Historical buildings are situated here and there along paths inside the shrine premises. One such edifice called Omote-shoin exhibits paintings (shoheki-ga) by Oukyo Maruyama (1733-1795), a noted figure in Japanese painting arts. Omote-shoin is considered a precious space for his fusuma-e (sliding door paintings) as well as for Japanese traditional architecture. You can also visit the Homotsu-kan treasury house museum to see the Juuichimen-kannon-ritsuzo (standing statue of the 11-faced Deity of Mercy), which is listed as an Important Cultural Property.

  • Kotohira-gu's photo
  • Kotohira-gu's photo
  • Kotohira-gu's photo
  • Kotohira-gu's photo

Enjoy refreshing hospitality at a café on your way

If you need to take a break while climbing the mountain, go to Kamitsubaki — the only café located within the venue. First floor is a bright café space with large glass windows, and the basement is an elegant Western-style restaurant hosted by the longtime Shiseido Parlor establishment. Kamitsubaki is recommended for both full lunch and coffee break with sweets. Please note that dinnertime service requires reservations.

  • Kotohira-gu's photo
  • Kotohira-gu's photo

For reference

  • Address
    892-1 Kotohira-cho, Nakatado-gun, Kagawa Pref.
  • Tel
    0877-75-2121
  • Open
    All the time for shrine venue (Omote-shoin & Museum 8:30-16:30; Kamitsubaki 9:00-20:15)
  • Holiday
    none
  • Price
    Free of charge for shrine venue (Omote-shoin: 800 yen; Museum: 800 yen)

Access

Approx. 45 minutes by shuttle bus from Takamatsu Airport to Kotohira-ekimae. 15-minute walk from the station to the venue entrance.
Access to Takamatsu Airport
  • From Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) - 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • From Naha Airport - 1 hour and 55 minutes

Map

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