Munakata, located in the northern part of Kyushu, has been an area where many exchanges have been linked since ancient times as the gateway between Japan and the Korean Peninsula. The shrine “Munakata Taisha”, which is positioned as the center of the shrine, is a collective term for Okinoshima and other two islands floating off the coast of Munakata, Okitsu-miya and Nakatsu-miya and Hetsumiya on the mainland. These were registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2017 as “Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region”. This world heritage may be attracting attention as sacred places because of the natural beliefs that have been passed down since the ancient times of Munakata Taisha, which appears in “Kojiki” (The Records of Ancient Matters). Also, it may be due to the mysterious charm and natural scenery, such as the existence of places where only priests can enter.
From Japan Railway Hakata Station, you can get to Togo Station on the Kagoshima Main Line in about 30 minutes using a rapid train. From Japan Railway Kokura Station, it can be reached in about 40 minutes. From Togo Station North Exit, take the bus for Konominato Wharf (via Munakata Taisha Shrine) and you will arrive in front of Munakata Taisha in about 12 minutes.
Munakata Taisha has many attractions including the main shrine. Among them, the “Munakata Shrine Shinpokan” displays valuable treasures and shrine treasures and 80,000 national treasures. Among them, the “national treasure / gold ring” excavated in Okinoshima is a treasure worth seeing.
Oshima is a remote island with Nakatsugu Shrine dedicated to one of the three goddesses of Munakata Taisha Shrine. Most of the island is a charming island consisting of forests and wilderness. There is a ferry from the Munakata Shrine, so it can be accessed in about 25 minutes. There are many highlights such as Oshima Lighthouse, Miura Cave, and a windmill observatory overlooking the ocean.
“Miyaji Shrine” in Fukutsu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, you can see the miraculous scene twice a year in February and October. The reason is that the approach of the shrine and the coastline from the shrine and Ainoshima, which extends beyond the shrine, is connected in a straight line with the sunset. Please check this fantastic sight as a tourist destination.
The Munakata Shrine, which is registered as a World Heritage Site, and its surrounding areas are dotted with sightseeing spots filled with historical interests and natural blessings. In addition to the seascapes such as Genkai and Hibiki, the existence of inns that can heal fatigue from travel, including ingredients that benefit from seafood and mountain food, is packed with elements that attract travel lovers. Please enjoy the world heritage and the blessings of nature.
“Munakata Taisha Shrine” is a shrine in Munakata city, Fukuoka prefecture. Itsukushima shrine located in Miyajima, Hiroshima Prefecture, where the red torii is famous, is also a branch shrine of Munakata Taisha. “Munakata Sanjojin” (Three Goddesses of Munakata) that Munakata Taisha is dedicating is the only three sisters in “Yao yorozu no kami” (myriads of gods), the representative sea god in Japan. In ancient times Munakata City, blessed with nature such as the sea and the mountains, they prayed for safety and blessings to calm the god spirit who controls the sea. It is enshrined in the shrines where the names of the land in various parts of the country have been appointed from the north to the south, including “Munakata Shrine” “Itsukushima Shrine”. The number is said to be 6400, and the head shrine of these shrines is Munakata Taisha.
Speaking of Munakata Taisha, there are many people who think of Hetsu-miya Shrine of Tajima, Munakata city. However, “Munakata Taisha” is a generic name of Okitsu-miya Shrine in Okinoshima Island, Nakatsu-no-miya Shrine in Chikuzen Oshima Island, Hetsu-miya Shrine which is the Soja (general shrine) in Tajima, Munakata city.
Valuable treasures such as copper mirrors, weapons, and tools were found in Okinoshima Island, which was selected as a World Heritage Sites, about 80,000 of which were designated as national treasures. For this reason, Okinoshima is also called “Shosoin (Old Treasure House in Nara prefecture) in the sea”. The whole island has been considered as the sacred area owned by the Munakata Taisha Shrine, and the object of faith as the “Island of Divine Spirit Resides”, so free entry is banned from ancient times. Okinoshima Island is closed to women, and only one of the priests of Munakata Taisha Shrine is allowed to stay and is taking charge as a substitute.
In addition, there are no inhabitants on Okinoshima Island, and Misogi (ablution and ritual purification) in the sea is necessary at the time of landing. Furthermore, here is the sacred place where the law such as “prohibiting taking out even one stone from the island” is still strictly protected. It is one reason why its cultural aspect was chosen as a World Heritage site.
In “Shinpokan Museum” located in Hetsu-miya Shrine, the collection of precious cultural assets such as national treasures of 80,000 in Okinoshima Island are collected and exhibited. Along with its quantity and quality, you can feel the thought and breath of the pioneer who lived hard in each era.
Munakata Taisha which has existed as people’s strong emotional attachment from ancient times. Why do not you feel the history of Japan at the Munakata Taisha Shrine also listed in the oldest Japanese history book?
|Name:||Munakata Taisha Shrine|
|Address:||Tashima 2331 Munakata, Fukuoka 811-3505 Japan|
|Access:||JR Kagoshima-sen Line “Togo-eki Station” (15 minutes by car)|