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Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/8/2 02:24
According to Google Maps, access to the shrine is a 6.9km walk from Kotohira Station, which would take roughly two hours. The same description is given by some reporters in TripAdvisor, that it's long and there are roughly 800 steps. However, the Kagawa Official Tourism Website says it's a 10 minute walk from the same station. From the satellite view, it seems there are paths through other shrines in this complex, so I am curious as to which is right. Has anyone been there or know what is the best way to access this shrine? Thanks!
by John B digs Japan  

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/8/2 10:50
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5451.html

Did you look at this website's directions? It is not that long a walk from either station plus there is a bus. Years ago when I went there was a shuttle taxi from the station but I don't see any mention of that even on the shrine's website....

I only went to the Main Hall and not to the inner shrine.
by Maranyc rate this post as useful

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/8/2 10:51


it's a 10 minute walk from the same station

That is walk to the entrance. From the entrance it is a long uphill -walk, possibly 2 hours, to the top.
What we did was upon arrival at the station, took a minivan ( @ 200 yens?) that took us to a "halfway point", and we started hiking from there.
by shinji (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/8/2 19:31
Thank you for your responses!
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/8/2 22:06
It's been a couple of years so my memory might be sketchy, but it was around 800 or so stairs which are very photogenic to the main shrine. It was around the same amount to the top shrine which I did not go to as I hate stairs.

If your not going in the height of summer and you have reasonable fitness (or are not sick of stairs yet), I found it a really photogenic walk. Also note that I quite likes the Kabuki theatre in the town as well.

It's also great to see a person ask a researched question - but then I also look at who is asking the question (this is meant to be a compliment)...

https://www.japan-guide.com/community/mfedley/report-2514
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/8/2 22:25
Thanks, mfedley, for the compliment! I guess I didn't see this site's page as it was named differently than what I knew. I will be in Takamatsu on October 30th. I am not in the best of shape and I do hate stairs, but I thought this to be a test of my endurance, as I want to tackle Yamadera about 10-12 days later. If I can handle this one, I should be able to handle that one! I should have known that the description in the local website was meant to mean the entrance to the complex and not the actual shrine per se. It just seemed to me the Google Maps was going the long way around, but I guess that's the only way to the inner shrine. I haven't seen a topological map of the area, so I wasn't sure why it directed one to walk so far. I hope that by the end of October the weather isn't too warm or that there are no typhoons in the area.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/8/2 22:53
I'd say that Yamadera is a little bit easier out of the two - unless it's winter when it's a whole another story (snow!). Another possibility is to catch the minibus up and walk down. I really liked the walk, with the second option being a nice mixture.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/8/3 10:33
I would say do the hike, unless physically it is impossible for you (there were a few elderly being carried up the steps at Kotohira by a kind of palanquin for a fee when I went).
I'd say Kotohira is longer (though not high intensity), but there are just so many nice things to stop and see along the way that it really isn't a burden. There are also some wider paths, and long stretches with no climbing at all. The first part of the climb is walking through a tourist shop street.
https://youtu.be/ley9rVIewoQ

I found Yamadera to be a lot less difficult than many others online have portrayed it, but no picnic. It takes about 30 minutes. That said, the steps up Kotohira are pretty well kept concrete and regular. But going up Yamadera is more old school, with concrete slab type steps and a few crumbling, uneven, rocky steps that are concentrated together more - you really do need to watch your footing. Plus it is pretty much just stair climbing all the way to the top. At Yamadera there were about 4 friendly kittens/cats owned by the souvenir shop closest to the steps going up and at the exit, so keep an eye out for them and maybe bring them a treat.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/8/3 11:20
I thought Yamadera was much more difficult - although as I said I got a ride part of the way up to Kotohira....but I did walk down.
Up to Yamadera there are 1,000 steps! And although there are certainly little nooks and crannies where you can rest, at Kotohira there is a museum part of the way up and much wider staircase....and of course more crowded...at least when I went in April.
by Maranyc rate this post as useful

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/8/3 12:04


as I want to tackle Yamadera about 10-12 days later.

Since you are visiting Yamadera, I would very much like to recommend Hagurosan which is a beautiful place, only about 2 hour drive away from Yamadera. This " gem" is completely underrated, might be a wee bit more steps, but a place not to be missed while you are in the area.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbielbFvve8
https://sacredsites.com/asia/japan/haguro_san.html
by shinji (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/8/3 19:40
I'll give you an update nearer your trip as I am in Okayama/Takamatsu 19th to 23rd of Sept and I will be visiting Kotohira-gu on one of those days :)
by Stan Norrell rate this post as useful

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/8/4 11:55
To OPfs first question
gAccording to Google Maps, access to the shrine is a 6.9km walk from Kotohira Station, which would take roughly two hours.h

It is said that Google canceled its contract with Zenrin, which is one of Japan's leading map making company several months ago.

After that, Google Maps sometimes make mistakes such as showing
* unnecessarily long way around walking route like you've found in Kotohira
* too narrow driving route which is only 2 meter wide

Google Maps is a great guide, but not perfect.
by Chibanian rate this post as useful

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/9/20 22:33
@John B. I did the hike today and it started raining as I left the station. I didn't rush but I also didnt wander around the shops as much as I might have done if it wasnt raining. I went from the station to the inner shrine and back in 2.5 hours. It was hot eve though it was raining but I'm glad I did it.
by Stan Norrell rate this post as useful

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/9/27 23:46
@Stan Norrell, thank you for your update. I think I may just go to the outer shrine and see how that goes. I have a pretty full day with lots of little things to do in Kagawa, so I may just see how far I get in one hour and then head back to the station. Lots to do that day! Thank you once again!
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Access to Kotohira-gu Shrine (Takamatsu) 2019/9/28 00:12
@Stan Norrell, can you tell me if this is the outer shrine?
https://www.google.com/maps/place/%E9%87%91%E6%AF%94%E7%BE%85%E5%AE%AE...

It seems there is a direct way to get there from the souvenir/shopping street.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

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