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Konpirasan in Kotohira


The final act of that day (May 21, 2009) was spent in the village of Kotohira where we visited the Konpirasan, a large Shinto shrine built on the mountain. Definitely the most beautiful thing I have seen during that first trip to Japan, and still one of my favorites two years and three more trips later.

(As I transcribe what I had written back then, and that I didn’t know any details about the shrine at the time – and not much about Shintoism either – I won’t give you much more information about Konpirasan for now. This will come in a later post, just be patient).


The first steps. There are 1368 to the top.


Kotohiragu - main shrine
The main shrine, barely halfway through.



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(to be continued)


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3 thoughts on “Konpirasan in Kotohira”

  1. I went there last year. After everyone saying and writing how beautiful it was, my expectations were high. Perhaps even too high. And I was very disappointed. Didn’t like it one bit. I guess, after hearing all the comparisons to Nikko, I expected something more Toshogu-like. And it was just another so-so looking shrine with plenty of steps to get there. That was the final straw when I decided that Shikoku wasn’t for me and that we wouldn’t be moving there.

    1. Yeah, you told me the story when you mentioned it on your blog (I guess this is around the time when I found it).
      I think that’s sad though, and I still don’t understand why you don’t like it, just because of the stairs? I mean, I’ve been to many Shinto shrines since then (not Nikko though) and it’s still one of my favorite. Maybe because it is not fancy and actually in the middle of nature. When you go up the stairs, it’s not just tourism, I feel like you really enter some sort of magical space (and it’s a non-mystical/religious person who speaks here).

      Also, you’re gravely mistaken about Shikoku, but I know that you won’t change your mind (when I live there, I’ll invite you and you’ll see) 🙂

  2. no, it wasn’t because of the stairs. Like I said, I heard so many wonderful things about it and I went in with really high expectations (for all of Shikoku, actually) and it just didn’t meet them. As simple as that. But having Nikko right under my nose, I suppose I set the bar really high. Evidently, too high.

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