Private Tour Exploring a Pilgrimage to Kagawa's Two Major Power Spots

In the Kotohira area, located in the centre of Kagawa Prefecture, there are both a temple and a shrine believed to have great power, and are essential places when discussing Japanese folk beliefs: Kotohira-gu Shrine and Zentsuji Temple.
Konpira-mairi, a pilgrimage to Kotohira-gu Shrine, dedicated to the god of the sea, was the only pilgrimage allowed in the Edo period, when ordinary citizens could not travel casually. This pilgrimage was widely admired and longed for, second only to Ise-mairi, a pilgrimage to Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture.
Sohonzan Zentsuji Temple is known as the birthplace of Kobo-Daishi Kukai, and also a pilgrimage site, having long been considered a place of great faith.

On this tour, you will visit Kotohira-gu Shrine and Zentsuji Temple in a single day, and experience the folk history of these sacred places.
On the way, you will be able to savour a lunch of Sanuki udon noodles, which is an absolute must when you come to Kagawa, as well as a sake tasting experience.
* Duration: 5 to 6 hours
* Starts: Zentsuji, Japan
* Trip Category: Cultural & Theme Tours >> Cultural Tours




In the Kotohira area, located in the centre of Kagawa Prefecture, there are both a temple and a shrine believed to have great power, and are essential places when discussing Japanese folk beliefs: Kotohira-gu Shrine and Zentsuji Temple.
Konpira-mairi, a pilgrimage to Kotohira-gu Shrine, dedicated to the god of the sea, was the only pilgrimage allowed in the Edo period, when ordinary citizens could not travel casually. This pilgrimage was widely admired and longed for, second only to Ise-mairi, a pilgrimage to Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture.
Sohonzan Zentsuji Temple is known as the birthplace of Kobo-Daishi Kukai, and also a pilgrimage site, having long been considered a place of great faith.

On this tour, you will visit Kotohira-gu Shrine and Zentsuji Temple in a single day, and experience the folk history of these sacred places.
On the way, you will be able to savour a lunch of Sanuki udon noodles, which is an absolute must when you come to Kagawa, as well as a sake tasting experience.

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Kagawa Gokoku Shrine, 4-5-5 Bunkyocho, Zentsuji 765-0013 Kagawa Prefecture

Sanukinomiya Kagawa Gokoku Shrine: This shrine enshrines the heroic spirits of people from Kagawa Prefecture who have given their precious lives for their country during the Meiji Restoration. As the 12th of the 15 Sanuki shrines in existence, it is one of the representative shrines of Kagawa. Feel free to follow the shrine’s instructions for worship.

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: Zentsu-ji Temple, 3-3-1 Zentsujicho, Zentsuji 765-8506 Kagawa Prefecture

Sohonzan Zentsuji Temple: The 75th temple of the 88 sacred sites in Shikoku, and the head temple of the Zentsuji sect of Shingon Buddhism, known as the birthplace of Kobo-Daishi Kukai. Feel the source of the power of “Daishi-sama” as you tour the sights of the temple, in the spaceous grounds filled with clean air!

Duration: 50 minutes

Stop At: Takatoro, 361 Kotohiracho, Kotohira-cho, Nakatado-gun 766-0002 Kagawa Prefecture

Takadoro: This is the tallest wooden lantern in Japan, standing 27 metres high. It was once used as a lighthouse for ships sailing in the Seto Inland Sea, and is also a guiding light for sailors to worship Konpira Shrine. Start your “Konpira strolling tour” from this retro landmark.

Duration: 5 minutes

Stop At: Tentekomai, Japan, 〒766-0001 香川県仲多度郡琴平町718

Tentekomai: This restaurant is located at the entrance to Konpira Omotesando and serves authentic Sanuki udon. The udon soup is so light that you can drink it all up, and the noodles are so smooth that you can feel them slipping down your throat, making it the perfect place to eat before visiting Konpira. Enjoy an inexpensive, fast, and delicious lunch considered to be the pride of Kagawa!

Duration: 40 minutes

Stop At: Kinryonosato, 623 Kotohiracho, Kotohira-cho, Nakatado-gun 766-0001 Kagawa Prefecture

Kinryo-no-Sato: Located at the approach to Konpira Shrine, this is a sake museum and sales office, where you can take a tour of the restored white-walled sake brewery founded in 1789, and taste the famous “pure sake” Kinryo!

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Konpira Omotesando, Kotohira, Nakatado District, Kagawa 766-0000, Japan

Konpira Omotesando: At last, the road to Kotohira-gu Shrine begins here. There are 785 long stone steps from the Omotesando to the main shrine. Leisurely making your way through the bustling streets, you begin your “Konpira-mairi”, beloved by the people for centuries!

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: 金刀比羅宮大門(おおもん), 1083-1, Kotohira, Nakatado District, Kagawa 766-0001, Japan

Kotohira-gu Shrine Omon (Gate): At the end of the approach lined with souvenir stores lies the entrance gate to Kotohira-gu Shrine, named Kotohira-gu Omon, located on the 365th step. When you arrive at the gate, take a look back at the path you have taken for a beautiful view of the stone steps and the Sanuki Plain below!

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Kotohira-gu Shrine Asahi no Yashiro, 892-1 Kotohira-gu Shrine, Kotohira-cho, Nakatado-gun 766-8501 Kagawa Prefecture

Kotohira-gu Shrine Asahi-no-Yashiro: We finally arrived at the 628th step! Asahi-no-Yashiro Shrine is said to have taken about 40 years to complete, and the magnificent double-height gabled shrine building will take your breath away. We recommend not yet visiting Asahi-no-Yashiro Shrine, but to do so on your way back after the main shrine, Gohongu. There are only 157 steps left to the main shrine!

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Kotohira-gu Shrine, 892-1, Kotohira-cho, Nakatado-gun 766-0001 Kagawa Prefecture

Kotohira-gu Shrine Gohongu (Main Shrine): After climbing up the last steps, you will finally arrive at the main sanctuary of Kotohira-gu Shrine! The shrine, dedicated to the God of the Sea, has been known as “Sanuki’s Konpira Shrine” since ancient times. On a clear day, you can even see a spectacular view of the Seto Ohashi Bridge. Here, you can pay your respects.

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: 敷島館 足湯, 716-5, Kotohira, Nakatado District, Kagawa 766-0001, Japan

Kotohira Onsen Oyado Shikishima-kan Footbath: Good job on completing the “Konpira-mairi”! Soak away your fatigue at the free footbath facility facing the approach to the shrine, and enjoy the warm hot spring water as you reflect on today’s tour.

Duration: 20 minutes