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Yasaka Shrine
Famous for the Kokura Gion Festival, the pride of Fukuoka’s summer festivals.

The Gion of Kokura, known for its beautiful, historic torii arch combined with the stone walls surrounding the castle.

There are many Yasaka Shrines scattered around Japan, and one is in Kokura. The lord of Kokura Domain, Hosokawa Tadaoki, constructed it as the tutelary shrine of the Kokura Domain in 1617. Tadaoki, who fought with the eastern (Tokugawa) forces at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600, was recognized for his military prowess by Tokugawa Ieyasu, and was granted Kokura Domain in Buzen Province, with its income of 399,000 koku (enough rice production to feed that many people).
Yasaka Shrine is known as the Gion of Kokura, and in summer holds the 400-year-old Kokura Gion Festival. Usually held for three days around the third Saturday of July, it is famous for its imposing Gion-daiko drums, and is counted among the Three Great Gion Festivals of Japan.
It was originally built in the Imojimachi area, but in the early Showa era (1926–1989) it was moved to the grounds of the castle. The granite torii arch, which can be seen from the path between Kokura Castle and Yasaka Shrine, is said to date to the Muromachi period (1336–1573) and now a designated cultural property of Fukuoka Prefecture.
Why not buy a drum embroidered omamori (talisman) associated with the festival, as well as omamori for love, victory or warding off evil? This is a very convenient spot if you are visiting the castle.
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  • Katsuyama Park, 2-2 Jonai, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka 803-0813
  • Website
  • About 20 minutes on foot from JR Kokura Station.

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