Konpirasan Pilgrimage

Locating in the middle of Mount Zozu, Konpirasan Shrine (formerly known as Kotohira-gu Shrine) has been a well know and popular shrine for protection of shipping and fishing businesses since the ancient time (1336-1573) and is still considered one of the shrines that Japanese would visit at least once in a lifetime. Its importance is only second to Ise Shrine.

Konpriasan at Kagawa is the head shrine of all Konpira shrines in Japan. The shrine is one of the toughest to reach (1,368 steps) yet it doesn’t deter the pilgrims. The shrine is a large complex on the mountain slope, featuring many historic buildings, ancient hexagonal lamps and Important Cultural Assets. Souvenir shops and tea houses line up from the bottom to over 300 steps to keep you busy looking and stopping as you go up. It is not as tough as you think (well, to the main shrine).

Kotoden Kotoshira Station 琴電琴平站
If you take Kotoden to Kotohira Station, you will see a torii gate as soon as you get out of the station. Simply turn right then left on the main road, you will then reach the shopping street at the bottom of the shrine. It’s only 10 minutes walk.
Konpirasan 金刀比羅宮
You may hire a palanquin to take you up to the main gate but you still have to hike the rest of the trail.
Konpirasan 金刀比羅宮
The main gate of Konpirasan shrine is (step 365) was built in 1650. The drum tower on the left of the photo was built in 1710. Both are historical constructions.
Konpirasan 金刀比羅宮
Step 471: Built in 1659, the “Study House” 書院 is a designated Important Cultural Asset. An entrance fee is required to view some ancient paintings and collectibles. No photos inside.
Konpirasan 金刀比羅宮
Step 628 sits the largest wooden building of Konpirasan. It was the former main hall of the temple worshipping the goddess who protects the fisherman and shipping business. This temple was built in 1837, also an Important Cultural Asset.
Konpirasan 金刀比羅宮
The main hall of Konpirasan locates at the 785th Steps. Many people would just make it here. The Inner Shrine is at 1368.
Konpirasan 金刀比羅宮
At the main hall level, you may get a breath-taking view of Kotohira town and Mount Lino (Sanuki Mt Fuji).
Konpirasan 金刀比羅宮
The charm of Konpirasan is a Konpira dog. In the ancient time, people were less mobile than today. They sent dogs to carry their wish and money to the shrine. That became a significant character of Konpirasan.
Kamitsu Baki 神椿
It takes quite a bit of effort to go up to the main shrine. When you head down, stop by Kamitsubaki at Step 500 which is a cafe/restaurant run by the cosmetic brand Shiseido. Here, you may choose to have simple coffee and sandwiches or lunch.
Kamitsubaki 神椿
Fruit parfait is the most popular items on the menu. Coffee, sandwiches and desserts are also good.
這裡人氣 NO. 1 的是雜果芭菲,咖啡、三文治、甜品都不錯。

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