“Yutoku Inari Jinja Shrine” is a shrine located in Kashima City, Saga Prefecture, also known as “Chinzei-Nikko” (Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Kyushu). It is a venerable place that is said to be the Three Major Inari Shrines of Japan together with Fushimi Inari Shrine and Kasama Inari shrine. It is famous as sacred spot, in Kyushu it is a shrine with many worshipers following Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine.
There is “Honden” (main shrine building) in the place which climbed 117 steps. Honden was built in the early Showa era, but faced a fire and was rebuilt in 1957. The appearance of total lacquer paint is glittery and it looks outstanding.
Until the okunoin (inner sanctuary) on the summit, we will go up the approaching path that the torii stands from the side of the honden (main shrine building). Let’s aim at the mountain while worshiping the shrines on the way. From okunoin you can overlook the city of Kashima and enjoy views of Ariake Sea.
In front of okunoin (inner sanctuary), there is Myobusha Shrine. This is a shrine that was previously enshrined as the former Honden (main shrine building). There, the spirits of the white fox, which is the sacred messenger of the God of Inari Shrine, are enshrined. It was in 1804 that this Myobusha Shrine was first built, and it seems that the shrine that is still present is what was built in 1933. The shrine is characterized by the architecture style of the shrine in the Edo period, precious sculpture in detail is valuable. This is designated as an important cultural asset in Saga Prefecture.
Torii that lasts from honden to okunoin. You will get a mysterious impression as if you were lost to another world in the landscape that the long extended slope and Torii creates. It seems that you can feel a unique kind of atmosphere that you should say it is the area of God when you are there.
In addition, this is a very rich shrine in the four seasons, cherry blossoms are colored in the precincts in the spring, and maples and ginkgo turns in autumn. “Higashiyama Park” which is the garden is one of the most famous flower places in the city, in addition to 50 thousands of azaleas, it is famous as a place where cherry blossoms, cosmos and rape-flower are beautiful.
More than 2,800,000 worshipers visit in a year
Although it is said that there are more than 30,000 of Inari Jinja Shrines in Japan, Yutoku Inari Jinja Shrine is counted one of the Japanese three greatest Inari shrine with Fushimi Inari Jinja Shrine of Kyoto, and Kasama Inari Jinja Shrine of Ibaragi.
It is commonly known as “Yutoku-san” in the hometown, and more than 2,800,000 worshipers visit in a year.
It was founded in 1687. It moved the sacred spirits of a god from Inari Okami ensconced in Kazanin-tei in Kyoto Old Palace.
“Chinzei-Nikko” (Nikko of Kyushu area) from its beauty
The vivid vermilion of the building, which looks beautiful in the green of trees, is impressive, and the main shrine, the worship hall, and a two-storied gate are totally lacquered. The main shrine stands against the mountain, and the two-storied gate and the kagura hall stand on the large precincts of a temple at the base of a mountain. It is also called “Chinzei-Nikko” (Nikko of Kyushu area) from its beauty.
The faded red torii which reminding of Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine of Kyoto
In the approach to the Oku no in (inner sanctuary), the faded red torii which reminding of Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine of Kyoto stands in a row. The distance from the main shrine to the Oku no in is about 250 meters, and it takes about 20 to 30 minutes on foot. Although it may be felt short 250 meters, but most is an ascent way, it should be felt far than expected.
It believes in Yutoku Inari Jinja Shrine as guardian deities, such as a bumper crop, prosperity in business, safety of the family, big catch satisfaction, and traffic safety. The shinto ritual event as “Tamakae” of the spring festival is held in April 8, and “Ohitaki” of the autumn festival is held in December 8.
50,000 azaleas overflow in full bloom
Moreover, Higashiyama-koen park of the outer garden is a famous place of an azalea. The beautiful flowers of 50,000 azaleas overflow in full bloom. In adjoining the Yutoku Museum, the treasure of Yutoku Inari Jinja Shrine, etc. are stored, and also a sword, a work of art, etc. are exhibited.
Information(Access, Price/Charge, Tel, Address, Official site, etc.)
|Name:||Yutoku Inari Jinja Shrine|
|Address:||Furueda Kashima, Saga 849-1321 Japan|
|Access:||JR Nagasaki-honsen Line “Bizenkashima-eki” station (13 minutes by car)|
|Price / Charge:||Free|