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Yasui Konpiragu: Breaking and Making Relationships

Posted By on Apr 27, 2015

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IMG_2473 Kyoto is full of shrines and temples that would take days of endless visits in order to fully appreciate. The most popular temple is Kiyomizu, which overlooks the city and welcomes considerable crowds throughout the year.

One underrated shrine is Yasui Konpiragu, which is located not far from Kiyomizudera.

Originally named The Temple of Wisteria after the beautiful purple flowers which grew in the shrine area at that time, Yasui Konpiragu claimed its current name after the Meiji Restoration of 1868. The shrine is known as a place of prayer for abstinence in honor of the main deity enshrined there who gave up all desires. It is believed that by parting with one’s “bad fates,” the bond with “good fates” will become stronger.The shrine is considered also to be a place of prayer for maritime and traffic safety.IMG_2464_2

The highlight of the shrine is the “enkiri” or “enmusubi” stone, a stone that binds good relationships and severs bad ones.IMG_2474_2

When visiting the shrine, purchase a piece of paper and write the name of the person with whom you wish to strength or break a relationship. As you walk through the tunnel (a tight squeeze for most), make sure to go in the right direction. Front to back indicates strengthening a tie, while back to front is for severing ties. Afterwards, use the glue sticks provided to affix the paper to the stone alongside hundreds of others. 

The shrine is located a short walk (10-15 minutes)
from the Kiyomizudera district. It is not immediately obvious, however, so be sure to inquire if a map is not handy.IMG_2497

[posted by Nadia]

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