A Temple on Main Street

Kyoto's Yasaka Shrine
By Sol March in Travelogue

You wouldn’t expect to see a temple at the end of one of Kyoto’s busiest streets, but that’s exactly where you’ll find Yasaka Shrine.

Shijo Dori

Yasaka Shrine stands in stark contrast to the department stores, small shops, and noisy traffic that line the road leading up to this temple.

Temple at the End of the Road

Temple Security

Two large guard dog statues loom over the steps leading up to the temple’s entrance. Their imposing presence is felt from all angles.

Guard Dog Looking Down Menacing You may pass

The Path Leading In

A long path stretches out before us after we pass under the temple’s entrance gates. Along the way, students on a field trip enjoy bento lunches, while girls dressed in traditional kimono peruse the souvenir stalls that line the path.

Merchants at the Temple Field Trip Bentos are Best Kimono

Inner Temple

We are greeted by another guard dog once we reach the entrance to the inner temple. Thankfully, this one looks much less menacing– welcoming even. Presumably, the first two were meant to scare off the troublemakers.

Ring the Bell Enter Lantern Smile

The inner temple is quiet and serene. The sound of a low bell occasionally breaks the silence, but for the most part, it is quite peaceful at the temple.

Roof Top This Way Rope Pull

There are a lot of people here, but even more lanterns.

Hold my hand Paper Lanterns Paper Lanterns Look UpRed Glow 3 Lanterns Mini Lanterns Lantern Row He Did It

A Final Farewell

We wind our way through the lanterns and small shrines, eventually reaching the rear exit which leads to a park in the low hills behind the temple. Before we leave though, we are “greeted” by one last guard dog, which happens to be the strangest one of them all.

Diligence Teeth Big Smile


Dreaming of Kyoto

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