Namba Yasaka Jinja


Japan has its fair share of unique shrines, from one that is famed for its porcelain gate to a train station with torii gates lined up along tracks. Now, add Namba Yasaka Jinja to the list of unique shrines has it has an eye-catching and impressive lion head that looms over visitors. 


12m-tall lion head hall


Namba Yasaka Jinja - lion hallImage credit: @uken.photo

Situated near Osaka’s bright Dōtonbori and in the lively Namba district, Namba Yasaka Jinja is a sight to behold with its imposing architecture. In place of a typical shrine stands a shishiden (獅子殿; lion hall) – an enormous 12m-tall lion-head with a menacing glare.  

Namba Yasaka Jinja - lion hall at nightImage credit: @tabokin

Though destroyed in the air raids during World War 2, the main shrine was rebuilt and completed in 1974.

Namba Yasaka Jinja - interior of lion hallImage credit: @happy_meee_2410

While the impressive lion hall is the main draw of Namba Yasaka Jinja, many also flock to see the Tug-of-war Shinto ritual that’s held annually on the third Sunday of each January. 

Namba Yasaka Jinja - lion hall at night
Image credit:
@ritchantenten

Legend has it that the enshrined deity, Susanoo no Mikoto, defeated Yamata no Orochi, an eight-headed serpent, thereby alleviating the people’s suffering. The ritual to pray for a peaceful and stable life, as well as a bountiful agriculture produce, is still carried out today. 


Clears your bad energy by eating up spirits


Namba Yasaka Jinja - lion hall at nightImage credit: @hirometal1129

Despite its intimidating appearance, it is said that the lion is particularly effective in absorbing evil spirits. Allegedly, the gaping mouth helps to swallow any negative energy that’s plaguing you, thus ensuring success in your endeavours. 

Namba Yasaka Jinja - goshuinImage credit: @hirometal1129

It is not uncommon to see shrine goers praying for success in areas such as academics or business. Coincidentally, as EDION Arena Osaka is just a short walk away, many athletes or participants also drop by the shrine for an extra dose of luck before their match.

Namba Yasaka Jinja - omikujiImage credit: @happy_meee_2410


Getting to Namba Yasaka Jinja


Namba Yasaka Jinja Image credit: @uken.photo

As Namba Yasaka Jinja is located in the Namba district, the nearest station is Namba Station, which is just a short 7-minute walk away. Alternatively, it’s also a good pit stop from Osaka’s shopping mecca, Dōntonbori, as it is easily accessible by foot.

Address: 2 Chome-9-19 Motomachi, Naniwa Ward, 556-0016 Osaka
Opening hours: 6.30am-5pm, Daily
Contact: 0666-41-1149 | Namba Yasaka Jinja Website

Also check out:


Cover image adapted from: @uken.photo

Follow The Smart Local Japan on Facebook, Instagram and Telegram for more stories like this.