Top ChoiceShinto Shrine in Kotohira

Konpira-san

Konpira-san

Konpira-san or, more formally, Kotohira-gū, was originally a Buddhist and Shintō temple dedicated to the guardian of mariners. It became exclusively a Shintō shrine after the Meiji Restoration.A lot of fuss is...

Top ChoiceCafe in Kotohira

New Green

A cute neighbourhood spot where the local women cackle over coffee, New Green is also one of the few restaurants in town open for dinner. If the salads, kaki-furai (breaded, fried oysters) and omu-raisu (omelette...

Top ChoiceTheatre in Kotohira

Kanamaru-za

This is Japan's oldest kabuki playhouse, though it had a lengthy stint as a cinema before falling out of use. Nowadays it has sporadic shows, but can be visited daily. The restorations are superb; wander...

Museum in Kotohira

Kinryō-no-Sato Sake Museum

This sake museum, located along the main approach to the shrine, is in the old premises of a brewery that has owned the building since 1789. There's an English leaflet explaining the sake-making process, but...

Udon in Kotohira

Konpira Udon

Just short of the first set of steps leading up Konpira-san, this is one of dozens of Sanuki-udon joints in Kotohira. You can't miss it: the front window shows off the busy udon-makers rolling out dough and...

Shinto Shrine in Kotohira

Hōmotsu-kan

The first notable landmark on the long climb at Konpira-san is Ō-mon, a stone gateway that leads to Hōmotsu-kan, where the collection of treasures is pretty underwhelming for such a major shrine.

Landmark in Kotohira

Ō-mon

The first notable landmark on the long climb at Konpira-san is Ō-mon, a stone gateway that leads to Hōmotsu-kan.

Shinto Shrine in Kotohira

Shoin

Shoin is a designated National Treasure that dates from 1659. It has some interesting screen paintings and a small garden.

Shinto Shrine in Kotohira

Asahi-no-Yashiro

Built in 1837, this large hall is dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu, and is noted for its ornate wood-carving.

Landmark in Kotohira

Takadōrō

At 27m, this is the highest wooden lantern in Japan, originally built to guide ships sailing on the Inland Sea.

Shinto Shrine in Kotohira

Ema-dō

Ema-dō is filled with maritime offerings ranging from pictures of ships and models to modern ship engines.

Shinto Shrine in Kotohira

Gohonsha

The short final ascent at Konpira-san, which is the most beautiful leg of the walk, brings you to Gohonsha.