Located in Kyoto, in the Higashiyama district, the Yasaka Koshin-do Temple, also known as Daikoku-san Kongo-ji Koshin-do can be found. A relatively small temple, it is close to the well-known Kiyomizu dera temple in Kyoto. One of the most notable features of Yasaka Koshin is the brightly colored “kukurizaru” which are small balls containing the wishes of worshippers.
History of Yasaka Koshin-do Temple
The Yasaka Koshin-do Temple stands in honor of Kōshin-san, referring to the focal point of worship, a guardian warrior known as Shōmen Kongō, and three wise monkeys. It is believed that Kōshin-san rewards good people and condemns bad people. The temple is representative of the Koshin faith which is somewhat different as it integrates elements from Buddhism, Taoism, and Shintoism.
Location of Yasaka Koshin-do Temple
The Yasaka Koshin-do Temple is located just next to the Yasakano Pagoda. The best way to access the small shrine is to go straight from Yasaka Dori from Kenninji Temple. The shrine is marked by a colorful red temple gate.
What to do at Yasaka Koshin-do Temple
Since it is a small temple, it is easy to view it quite quickly, however, it is one of the most photogenic places in Kyoto. Easily one of the most Instagrammable destinations in Kyoto, the colorful hanging balls create a bright, unusual collage surrounding the monkey statues. Visitors can make their own wishes known as Kukurizaru, the ball-shaped talisman made of colorful cloth which represents the good faith monkeys.
According to the Koshin belief and folklore, it is believed that in order to have a wish granted, one must sacrifice one desire. Therefore visitors place their desire into the balls, which helps them to disappear from the mind and soul. It is also believed that you will become a better person once your wish is granted and you have rid yourself of a bad desire. Additionally, the three monkeys at Yasaka Konshin-do represent the notion of “not hearing, not seeing, not talking”.
How to visit Yasaka Konshin-do Temple
To access Yasaka Konshin-do Temple, it is about a seven-minute walk from the Kyoto City Bus stop (Kiyomizu-michi).
Open Hours 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Open every day.
390 Kinen-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture