Along with being loved as a Kagawa sightseeing spot, Konpira Shrine is worshipped as the protecting deity of maritime transportation.
In the Edo period, “one pilgrimage to Konpira in one lifetime” was the thinking, and a pilgrimage to the shrine was the next best thing to visiting the Grand Shrine of Ise. Pilgrims came from all over Japan, and starting with kabuki, the town around the shrine was the origin of the latest art, cuisine and leisure.
Maintaining the “Konpira spirit”, the young 4th generation of Kinokuniya, a well-established souvenir shop, opened “YOHAKu26”.
A select shop that sells objects and things, it is a shop that through the filter of “travel” creates a small “blank space” (‘yohaku’ in Japanese) in the heart. “26” refers to the 26th step of the stone staircase that leads to the shrine.
As well as selling goods, the shop also heals the fatigue of the journey while bringing you face to face with new fun and moving things. The owners also want visitors to love Konpira even more, and to come for another visit. That’s the kind of place they’re aiming for – a stage for exchanges.
I especially recommend the udon noodle t-shirt and eco-bag you can make by yourself.
On a simple T-shirt with a bowl of udon noodles printed on it, you can create an original item on the spot by adding circles, triangles, squares, elephants, giraffes and ducks, among other “toppings” with an iron!
Together with the time spent making it, it’s bound to be a treasured memento of a trip that you won’t forget.
In one corner of the shop you can find goshuin notebooks (where pilgrims gather stamps and signatures from shrines) with original designs. In addition to some poppy kabuki badges, there are new-style souvenirs lined up, souvenirs that apply recycling and a bit of design, and are individually selected by the shops young owner couple.
After enjoying YOHAKu26 to your heart’s content, climb up a couple more steps and head to Kinokuniya. While listening to the shop’s background music, you can taste freshly made “Funefune sembei” (rice cakes) and “Ishimatsu manju”, the shop’s famous sweets.
The new urban Konpira – Come and try the feel of Edo period traveling!
Address: Stairs leading to Konpira Shrine, 26th stair, 948-2 Kotohira-cho, Nakatado district, Kagawa prefecture
Open: 12.00-17.00 (approx.)
Closed: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays (Long holidays & irregular holidays may also apply)
Tel: 0877-73-0377, 0877-75-2474 (Main shop, Kinokuniya)
Homepage: http://yohaku26.com/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writers:
Text: Tomoko Kawai (Dream Network Activity)
Photographs: Takafumi Yanagizawa (Dream Network Activity)
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