⛩ Japanese Shrine Appreciation Thread ⛩

Intriguing. Wonder if it’s worth visiting for one of these. Wondering how crowded it’d be.

What month is the Kikkasai?


How busy it would be depends on the season really. Winter is typically the least busy time to travel, particularly February. Early January is a no-go because nearly every Japanese person in the area is going to their first shrine visit of the year, and Itsukushima Shrine is the most popular in the area.

Spring is a popular time to travel (for cherry blossom viewing) especially late March/early April because the kiddos are on spring break. Golden Week during late April/early May… well, forget about going anywhere to be honest, lol. If you like to line up early for things as much as Japanese people, then you should get there at least an hour early to see anything happen.

Summer time is popular for obvious reasons, particularly Obon season in August. Also, any national holidays in Japan, but there’s fewer in fall. That’s probably the best season because you can enjoy the fall colors! The only good thing about winter is fresh oysters (which you won’t find at Miyajima anyway - pick them up at the local supermarket instead) and the rare case that it snows, but as soon as it falls, it melts. There might be some snow at the top of Mt. Misen (the mountain on Miyajima) now, but the paths are natural and narrow, it would be dangerous to climb if you’re not experienced.

But that’s just my 2 cents living nearby. :slight_smile:

Also, Kikka-sai is in October. There’s also many more festivals (including ritual dances) that aren’t listed in the pamphlet. Some are unscheduled just so only the locals can enjoy them. Miyajima is the biggest tourist attraction in the city, so it’s natural they’ll have festivals nearly every month. They built a website in English in anticipation for the Olympics but haven’t updated it because of the pandemic. You can find it here.


Thank you for so much detailed additional information!


I want to share one of the coolest shrines I’ve ever visited.

岩国白蛇神社 Shirohebi Shrine (Iwakuni)

As you might have realized from the name, this place enshrines white snakes. The most unique thing about it is that the snakes are actually at the shrine (still?). They have been breed for generations upon generations. Some are kept outside in a large, natural enclosure.

And others inside in a humid room to encourage mating.

The snakes are very well cared for and the priests save the sheds of the skins and use them in various art pieces.

Produced in snake shed and reproduced in the phamplet for the shrine in embossed form.

Bell charm from Shirohebi Shrine


The one I saw when I went was very interesting. I recommend going if you can. It was January 3 when I went, and it was pretty crowded. If you go around New Year be prepared for big crowds.


These are tremendous–thank you so much for posting these! They are lovely to see, and it’s great to get the various historical details!


Commenting to remind myself to share shrine from that middle middle place


How about that shrine from the 中中 place?


Thank you, my memory is shit lol

Here we have Oouo Shrine in Saga!

It’s pretty small, but it has great visual impact. It’s mainly a set of three :shinto_shrine: on a lake. The final one actually has a basin so that it’s always floating.

If you’re in the area, I recommend a short detour :slight_smile:

Some tiny friends in the area

And a photo shamelessly lifted from Google


I’ve been in the gorge in this town, but didn’t realize there were such important shrines nearby! When I went, it looked like there were some interesting places, but we couldn’t stop and our cell reception was very shoddy


I went to the island where the Mongols were defeated by weather recently. I’ll try to share photos of the shrine sometime soon! If shrines had a competition for best toilets, this one would win.


Ah I see you’ve been down to Saga. I live down here actually. If you’re interested in Torii then you should go to Arita at some point. The town specializes in porcelain so they made their torii at the shrine out of it.

Even the dog statues are made of porcelain.


Perhaps there are multiple islands. The one I went to was in Fukuoka, but yours sounds amazing! I’ve been to the park in Arita, but I didn’t know about the shrine! I’ll have to stop there next time :smiley: Do you have any other area recommendations? Usually I do my research, but I can’t believe I missed such a cool shrine!

I’ve been to the Kyushu Ceramics Museum as well. That was pretty interesting. They have a half a million dollar clock made from porcelain there.

As for other shrines, the one up in Karatsu has a pretty big Torii in front of the shrine and the shrine has a bunch of smaller places to look around. Also, the big festival they hold in Karatsu, called Karatsu Kunchi, features these floats that they pull around town while playing music and singing/chanting. They have an exhibit for the floats near Karatsu Station.

If you’re up in Karatsu you should check out the castle as well. It was really interesting and cool to climb up.


Thank you!! I’m adding them to my list!

I’ve been to Karatsu a couple of times, but having been able to make it to Kunchi yet. It looks like 2023 falls on a weekend, so I might be able to go :smiley: I love the city. I first went as a Yuri on Ice fan, but it’s got so much more going for it.

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I found an abandoned shrine in the forest not far from Ishikiri station along the Kintetsu Nara line. Found it on a hike with my daughter one winter afternoon. Creepy vibe so I left without exploring much. Plus, my daughter was a bit too young to be wandering about such a place.

Go East a bit from the station then North until you see the pond. Somewhere in that forest.


Speaking of anime, I don’t know if you’ve watched Zombieland Saga, but the restaurant they feature in the show, Drive-in Tori, is a real place in Imari. I’ve been wanting to go buy haven’t had a chance yet.


Oh and if you’re in Saga next October, you should check out the Ton-Ten-Ton festival as well. It’s held in Imari at the end of October. They take two shrines and smash them together in a “fight” and whoever falls over loses. The last day they do this next to the river. They have three rounds and then purposefully fall into the river on the third round.


I love little hidden/creepy shrines! They’re a lot of fun in my opinion. I try to stop if there’s a space and I see them while driving :slight_smile: