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.
Yasaka Shrine stands in stark contrast to the department stores, small shops, and noisy traffic that line the road leading up to this temple.
Two large guard dog statues loom over the steps leading up to the temple’s entrance. Their imposing presence is felt from all angles.
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.
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.
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.
There are a lot of people here, but even more lanterns.
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.
Dreaming of Kyoto
- A Look Down Kyoto’s Streets
- Exploring Nishiki Market
- Custom Kabocha Curry in Kyoto
- Down by the River
- This is Kyoto
- The Hidden Palace
- A Temple on Main Street
- At the Foot of the Mountain
- Late Night Kim Chee Fried Rice
- Falling Through Time in Gion
- Crunchy Katsu Curry in Kyoto