Ootoyo Jinja – Kyoto’s Hidden Jewel

I’d never heard of Ootoyo Jinja before I walked Kyoto’s famous philosopher’s path–and even then, I might have missed it easily had I not been in a curious mood. The shrine lies east of the path, marked only by a small wooden sign with an arrow pointing travelers in the right direction. Its unassuming entrance is marked by carved stone dogs whose mossy smiles reveal nothing about the nature of what lies beyond. Travel up a hill and through the torii gate that marks the entrance, and you’ll discover a hidden jewel–one of the most unique Shinto shrines in Kyoto.  The shrine lies on the side of

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