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Kotohira Gu Grand Shrine

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Kotohira-Gu (Kompira-San) Main Hall

Kotohira-Gu (Kotohira Grand Shrine) is located in the Town of Kotohira of the Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku Region.  Kotohira-Gu Shrine is also known as the Kompira-San and the main hall of Kotohira-Gu is located high up on the Mt. Zozu (Zozu-san).  It is one of the largest Shinto Shrines in the Shikoku Region.  The Kotohira-Gu can be easily reached by taking a train to JR Kotohira Station.  From the JR Kotohira Station the foot hill to the stair case to the main hall is about fifteen minute walk.

Kotohira-Gu Shrine SealThe walk from the JR Kotohira station to the approach to the climb up to the main hall itself is very fascinating.  This walk is filled with souvenir shops, small/large food stalls, historic monuments of Kagawa prefecture and small foot spas.

Kotohira-Gu Shrine Seal

Kompira-San is dedicated to the guardian gods of the sea, fertility and medicine.  For the people of Shikoku the guardian god of sea was of the most importance, as in the olden days when proper transportation facilities are not available and only sea journey was to be made safely.  A special feature of the shrine is it's location, high top the eastern slope of Mt. Zozu (named for it's profile resembling an elephant) and accessed by the arduous effort of climbing up 785 stone steps to the main hall.

Kotohira-Gu Site Map

As seen in the site map above, on the way to the top there are many
secondary shrines and temples.  Since the way to the top can be arduous the distractions of these side shrines is a way to take some rest.  On the way to the top there are museums that house art treasures designated as important Cultural Properties.  There are also tea-rooms, gardens and restaurants on the way.  Near the main hall at the top there are more museums and great views of the Shikoku mountain ranges.  Looking to the north you can also see the views of the Seto Inland Sea.

Some of the exhibits contain maritime themes, as it shows how important the sea voyage for the ancient Japanese was and how they depended on the guardian Kami of sea to protect them.

Kompira-San is a very active Shrine and along with the new year's prayer visit (Hatsumode) there are many festivals conducted at the Shrine grounds throughout the year.

Here is a video of the famous Shrine:

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