Enjoy a moment of serenity and travel alongside Shinto priests through the lush, mountainous grounds of historic Kotohira-gu Shrine in this brand-new guided tour.
Kotohira-gu Shrine is located on Mt. Zozu-san, near the Seto Inland Sea, and worships the gods of the sea, fertility and medicine. It is the main shrine of its sect. Its grounds are abundant in nature, contain many historic buildings, and have traditionally been the site of sacred rituals. As a result, the shrine was not open to public tours. That is, until now.
Having received permission from the Chief Priest, this unique tour will provide you with exclusive access to the traditional grounds of Kotohira-gu Shrine.Within this relaxed atmosphere, you can take part in Shinto prayers, experience the ritual dance Kagura, view Japanese art in buildings closed to the general public, and enjoy a meal with locally grown food. As a private tour, you will also get a chance to speak with Shinto priests and shrine maidens, as well as enjoy a performance of traditional Japanese music with Ryuteki, a type of bamboo flute, and Sho, a type of reed instrument. Take advantage of this rare experience to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and experience the peaceful atmosphere and traditional culture of Kotohira Shrine.
Since ancient times, mariners in the Seto Inland Sea have visited the shrine to pray for safety at sea. People involved in shipbuilding companies, shipping companies, yachts and boats, continue to visit the shrine today. The walls of this private, traditional-style study contain paintings by the genius painter Ito Jakuchu, who lived from 1716 to 1800. While usually closed to the public for preservation, they can be viewed on this tour.
Kotohiragu Shrine is located on Mt. Zouzu-zan.
The deities of the main shrine are the deity Ohmononushi and the Emperor Sutoku. Since ancient times, the shrine has been worshipped as a deity of agriculture, fecundity, medicine, and protection of the sea. Shinto priests and miko (shrine maidens) who serve the deities perform various rituals and rites throughout the year in the shrine grounds.
The shrine is famous for the golden staff of the Gohongu shrine, the "yellow charm of happiness," the "Otojin-sama" at the annual festival, the barrier painting by Maruyama Okyo in the shoin (Important Cultural Property), kemari (a prefectural intangible folk cultural property), the 785 stone steps from the Monzenmachi to the Gohongu shrine, the "Kompiragu" (a ritual game of kickball), etc.
In the mountains at the 1,368th step of the stone staircase stands the Itsukkama Shrine (Okusha), which is dedicated to Itsukumihiko-no-mikoto, the founder of the Konpira main religion.