After spending a full day wandering around the western part of Kyoto, I returned to the eastern part of the city and stopped by Yasaka Shrine before going back to my hostel. Yasaka Shrine was just a minute away from my hostel at the north end of the Gion District and I’d pass by or pass through it several times during my stay in Kyoto. Also known as Gion Shrine, this Shinto shrine is a popular spot in this part of Kyoto and that night there were a couple dozen vendors within the shrine grounds selling food and other things.
In the heart of the shrine are the main hall and a dance stage that is lit at night by a few hundred lanterns. On each of the lanterns is the name of a local business that has made a donation to the shrine’s upkeep. In the front of the main hall are dangling ropes with bells attached to them at the top. Before praying people will ring the bells by shaking the ropes, which lets the enshrined deities know that someone is praying to them.
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