Kyoto's Yasaka Shrine: the Closest to Gion

I feel like every other post about Kyoto is about a shrine or temple. Maybe more. But most of Kyoto's sights are shrines and temples, after all! But that makes finding a reason to visit each one that much more difficult. 
 So what makes Yasaka Shrine so special? It is "one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto," most likely due to its location. It's over 1350 years old, and conveniently located between two tourist destinations: the Higashiyama District (and Maruyama Park) and the Gion District. The pictures here are shown walking from the Maruyama Park side to the Gion side.
 The main hall sits at the Maruyama side of the grounds, facing a large plaza. It combines the inner sanctuary and offering hall.
 Along the side of the grounds are several smaller shrines.
 In the middle of the plaza is a dance stage with hundreds of lanterns. The lanterns all have the names of businesses who provide a donation to the shrine.
 This is the shrine-side view of the Gion entrance.
 I arrived when a wedding had just completed. The bride and groom posed for pictures before heading off to Gion.
 The main hall again.
 Another view of the Gion gate and plaza; the dance stage is peeking through the left.
 I wandered around to the parking lot for the shrine (what?!) and saw a bunch of old signs.
 I don't know what the signs represent, but they were pretty cool.
One more view of the Gion gate with a glimpse of Gion in the background. But Gion is a post for another day!

Yasaka Shrine is best visited after walking from Kiyomizu-dera and through Higashiyama. However, you can take bus 100 or 206 from Kyoto Station and get off at the Gion bus stop, which is right across the street from the shrine gate you see above. The shrine is always open and admission is free.

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