"Kompirasan Shrine" Kotohira Things to Do Tip by Rabbityama
Kotohira Things to Do: 10 reviews and 24 photos
Kompirasan is one of Japan's most famous shrines with its history beginning around the 1st century. It is famous for the large number of steps you have to ascend in order to reach the main shrine, located on Mount Zozu. From the bottom of the hill where to the shops are, it is 785 steps to get to the main shrine. If you really want to see everything though, the total number of steps is 1,368 which will take you to the Okusha (the highest shrine building of Kompirasan). To me, it was not that difficult going to the main shrine but I really started to feel tired as I went to the Okusha! There is a nice view from the Okusha of the surrounding town but most visitors do not even attempt to go there. The entire way is very scenic and beautiful, though, with all of the nature on the mountain.
Kompirasan used to be a combined Buddhist temple and Shinto shrine but strictly became a Shinto shrine in the Meiji Period. It's sister shrine, Yugasan Rendaiji in Kurashiki's Kojima area, is still a combined Shinto-Buddhist shrine and temple.
The main shrine (Hongu) of Kompirasan is architecturally interesting and quite beautiful, but you will notice that when you look inside, it is very simple, like most Shinto shrines. There is a great view from the main shrine. The deity worshiped here is the god of seafarers and if you look in the building to the left of the main shrine, you can see donations from ships, submarines, and other travelers who have attributed their safe voyages to their prayers here (and also perhaps carried omamori that they purchased here for protection).
Entrance is free.
Address: 892-1 Kotohira-cho