Climb the steps of Mount Zozu to reach beautiful Konpira-san Shrine, for fantastic views across Shikoku.

One of the most beautiful shrines on Shikoku Island, Konpira-san is a popular site of pilgrimage and well worth a few hours exploration. The shrine, which contains both Buddhist and Shinto structures, is dedicated to sailors and seafaring - a somewhat surprising fact considering its inland location!

Reaching Konpira-san is not for the faint-hearted; there are 1,368 stone steps to the main shrine building atop Mount Zozu! But the steps are consistently sized and there are many smaller temple buildings to visit on the way up, even if you don't make it to the top. Locals are always on hand selling drinks, snacks and souvenir trinkets, so take your time and be sure to take a rest break en route!

It's possible to hire a palanquin to be carried to the top, but you'll see even very elderly Japanese attempting the steps, displaying the classic ganbare (go for it!) attitude that the Japanese bring in spades. Those who make it all the way to the inner shrine at the top are rewarded for beautiful panoramas across rural Shikoku.


located in Kotohira

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