Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社 Yasaka-jinja), once called Gion Shrine (梅宮神社 Gion-sha), is a Shinto shrine in the Gion District of Kyoto, Japan. Situated at the east end of Shijō-dōri (Fourth Avenue), the shrine includes several buildings, including gates, a main hall and a stage.

We encountered Yasaka-jinja early on in our stay in Kyoto, mainly because the Gion District is a very popular part of the city to visit and we wanted to hit these places before going further afield.

The first recording captures the sound of visitors shaking long ropes that were connected to bell-like metal containers in which something would then make a loud metallic rattling noise. People were stood in line waiting their turn in front of one of the ‘buildings’ that made up the shrine complex. After they had rattled the ‘bell’, they would pause for a moment in prayer before leaving.

Recorded on 21 March 2009