Kompirasan is one of Japan's most famous shrines with its history beginning around the 1st century. It is famous for the large number of steps you have to ascend in order to reach the main shrine, located on Mount Zozu. From the bottom of the hill where to the shops are, it is 785 steps to get to the main shrine. If you really want to see everything though, the total number of steps is 1,368 which will take you to the Okusha (the highest shrine building of Kompirasan). To me, it was not that difficult going to the main shrine but I really started to feel tired as I went to the Okusha! There is a nice view from the Okusha of the surrounding town but most visitors do not even attempt to go there. The entire way is very scenic and beautiful, though, with all of the nature on the mountain.
Kompirasan used to be a combined Buddhist temple and Shinto shrine but strictly became a Shinto shrine in the Meiji Period. It's sister shrine, Yugasan Rendaiji in Kurashiki's Kojima area, is still a combined Shinto-Buddhist shrine and temple.
The main shrine (Hongu) of Kompirasan is architecturally interesting and quite beautiful, but you will notice that when you look inside, it is very simple, like most Shinto shrines. There is a great view from the main shrine. The deity worshiped here is the god of seafarers and if you look in the building to the left of the main shrine, you can see donations from ships, submarines, and other travelers who have attributed their safe voyages to their prayers here (and also perhaps carried omamori that they purchased here for protection).
Entrance is free.
On the road from Kotohira station to Kompirasan, there is "sake" museum (japanese liquor).
It is easy to find from the symbol as in the picture.
Kagawa prefecture is famous for Sanuki udon (white big noodles), and Kotohira is a place to make the udon. You can experience to make and boil of the noodles and to eat Sanuki Udon immediately after you cook it at the Nakano Udon School. When you finish the course, you are given a diploma, rolling pin (used to make noodles), and a sheet of secrets on Sanuki Udon making (off course in Japanese).
The school is open from 9:00AM to 5:00PM every day of the year. Reservations are required. The charge for admission is 1,575 yen (60-80 min).
Kotohira is easily accessible by train and the main sites (Kompirasan and Kanamaruza Theater) are both within walking distance of JR Kotohira Station.
From Takamatsu, you can take the JR Dosan Line directly to Kotohira Station. Kochi also has direct trains (limited express trains) to Kotohira.
From Okayama, some of the express trains stop at Kotohira but alternatively, you can transfer at Sakaide to the JR Dosan Line.
From Matsuyama, transfer at Tadotsu Station to the Dosan Line to reach Kotohira.