10 Recommended Shrines and Temples in Fukuoka!
Fukuoka Prefecture has been a hub of spirituality since ancient times, being home to numerous shrines and temples that attract worshipers from across Japan. In this article, we’ll introduce some must-visit Fukuoka shrines and temples, including those boasting stunning scenery that are popular on social media, and others flaunting the pinnacle of Japan’s seasonal bliss.
Must-See Scenic Shrines
Below, we’ve selected shrines with particularly stunning scenery. Popular with both Japanese worshipers and overseas sightseers alike, their overwhelming beauty makes it no exaggeration to call them some of the best in Japan, and they all render amazingly on film!
Enjoy the 312-Meter-High Panorama from the Kora Taisha Shrine!
The Kora Taisha Shrine, located in Kurume, is a deeply revered spiritual site boasting the largest Shinto structure in all of Kyushu.
The shrine is believed to bring fortune in all aspects of life, including protection from evil spirits, longevity, sound health, and bountiful harvests. The shrine sits upon the 312-meter-high Mt. Kora, making Kora Taisha equally popular for its breathtaking views.
The Kento Festival, an iconic symbol of summer in Kurume, is held from August 1 to August 31. During it, both sides of the 131 stone steps leading to the shrine are illuminated by lanterns, weaving together an enchanting spectacle.
Wow Social Media with a Photo of Ukiha Inari Shrine’s 91 Torii Gates
Located a 5-minute car ride from Ukiha Station on the Kyudai Line, Ukiha Inari Shrine is famous for the 91 torii gates lining its steep flight of steps.
The vast Chikugo Plain stretching beyond the gates creates a beautiful scenery that in recent years has made it a popular social media photo spot! On clear days, you can even see all the way out to Harazuru Onsen, Fukuoka’s largest hot spring area.
Those who feel up to it should definitely climb the steps and pay their respects at the shrine. Not only is the view from there majestic, the shrine also venerates the gods of success in business, bountiful harvests, sake brewing, a healthy and long life, and knowledge!
Shrines With Dynamic Festivals and Events
Shrines and temples in Japan often hold festivals and events that have been treasured throughout the generations. Here, we’ll take a look at one of Fukuoka's leading historic festivals and a cherished event that is only held once a year.
What is Hakozaki Shrine’s Hojoya, One of the Three Major Festivals in Hakata?
Hojoya is a festival held at Hakozaki Shrine in the Higashi Ward of Fukuoka City. It’s one of the three major festivals in Hakata along with the Hakata Dontaku held in spring and the Hakata Gion Yamakasa held in summer.
The purpose of Hojoya is to show respect for all life and to give thanks for the autumn harvest. It has been the most important ritual at Hakozaki Shrine for more than 1,000 years.
The festival is held every year for 7 days from September 12 to 18, during which time some 500 stalls line the approach to the shrine, including such fun attractions as haunted houses and shooting galleries and attracting many visitors every day.
The festival had been canceled since 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak, but this year the festival will be back thanks to COVID countermeasures being put into place.
Ooshime Festival - A Once-a-Year Event at Miyajidake Shrine
Miyajidake Shrine was established over 1,700 years ago and is believed to bring good luck and business prosperity.
The shrine is known for having the largest “shimenawa” in Japan, measuring 2.6 meters in diameter, 11 meters in length, and weighing 3 tons! Shimenawa are ropes made of rice straw that separate the realm of the gods from our world and prevent the entry of impure things.
In addition to the large shimenawa, Miyajidake Shrine is also famous for having two other “largest in Japan” items: the “o-daiko” (large drum) and the “o-suzu” (large bell).
Every December, Miyajidake Shrine holds the sacred, grand shimenawa replacement event. All are welcome to watch, so definitely stop by if you have the chance!
Temples Overflowing With Japan’s Seasonal Beauty
Japan is famous for its distinct four seasons, bringing magnificent beauty to the land throughout the year. There are lots of temples in Fukuoka where you can enjoy this seasonal splendor, including one famous for its ever-changing appearance!
See the Beautiful Fall Foliage of Nomiyama Kannon-ji Temple That Attracts One Million Visitors a Year!
Nomiyama Kannon-ji, located at the foot of Mt. Hokotate, is a Japanese Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect. It can be reached by car in 15 minutes from the JR Sasaguri Station.
The temple is believed to grant wishes and protect worshippers from evil, and has long been known in Japan for its responsiveness to prayers, attracting more than a million visitors each year!
Nomiyama Kannon-ji is also surrounded by lush nature, which transforms into colorful foliage in autumn, generally peaking between late October and late November. During this time, deep crimson adorns the approach leading to the main temple building, creating a uniquely Japanese landscape. Also, during the season of fresh greenery, the landscape turns crisp and invigorating.
The Beautiful Three-Storied Pagoda of the 1,200-Year-Old Kiyomizu Temple!
Kiyomizu Temple in Miyama boasts a long history and numerous historic buildings within its grounds.
Of note is the stunning three-storied pagoda, which was built in 1836 and remains a treasured symbol of the temple. Its beauty is compounded by the fresh greenery and cherry blossoms of spring.
During the autumn foliage season that peaks from late November to early December, the red leaves overlapping with the vermilion-lacquered pagoda create another spectacular sight. Kiyomizu Temple is also full of other photogenic spots, including the garden created by Sesshu Toyo, a famous Japanese ink painter from the 15th century.
Centered around a pond, the entire garden dazzles with the colors of the surrounding foliage in the fall.
Unique Shrines and Temples Like Nowhere Else!
There are also a number of shrines and temples throughout Fukuoka with fascinating themes and eye-catching spectacles. Some of these can only be seen during certain periods, so definitely try and check them out!
More Than 60 Meters Tall! The Colossal Statue at Naritasan Kurume Bunin Temple
Naritasan Kurume Bunin in Kurume City is a branch of the Naritasan Shinshoji Temple in Narita, Chiba Prefecture. Naritasan is famous for enshrining the “Substitute Fudoson,” a deity that protects people from all kinds of disasters and misfortune.
The main attraction here is the 62-meter-high statue of the Great Kannon (Goddess of Mercy), which has an impressive presence in the streets of Kurume, and can be seen from quite far away.
Inside the statue is a spiral staircase leading to a viewing window, from which you can see as far as Unzen, a hot spring resort in Nagasaki Prefecture.
The Stylish and Artistic Architecture of Homangu Kamado Shrine
Homangu Kamado Shrine, located in Dazaifu, is a revered place of worship with a long history going back more than 1,350 years.
The shrine is a popular spot for matchmaking, attracting worshippers who write their wishes on small wooden votive plaques called “ema” and offer them to deities.
The shrine office that was built to commemorate Kamado’s 1,350th anniversary is a stylish building unlike anything you'll find at most Japanese shrines, which is why it’s become such a hit on social media! The shrine office sells a variety of cute charms that come in different colors and designs that make for great souvenirs!
During autumn, around 300 shrine trees burst into beautiful colors, allowing visitors to stroll around the grounds and experience the magic of fall ♪
Nyoirinji Temple - 4,000 Wind Chimes Ringing in Summer!
The unique Nyoirinji Temple is known for the more than 8,000 frog statues and ornaments covering its grounds.
The chief priest began collecting frogs to help make the temple a place for visitors to feel at peace. This soon drew a lot of attention, and the temple now enjoys around 300,000 visitors a year.
Between June and September, the grounds of Nyoirinji Temple are also decorated with approximately 4,000 hanging wind chimes for the annual Wind Chime Festival.
Wind chimes are believed to protect against evil spirits, and so there are many visitors who hang up wind chimes at the temple that wish for everyone to get through the hot summer safely.
Marvel at the Buzenbo Takasumi Shrine and Its Pavilion Built into a Giant Rock Face!
Founded in 529, the Buzenbo Takasumi Shrine is where people go to pray for the safety of cattle and horses and for bountiful harvests.
One of the highlights of the shrine is the main pavilion, which is built into a giant rock face! If you go around and look at the side of the pavilion, you’ll see that its magnificent roof is built along the rock hollow.
The approach to the shrine is made up of moss-covered stone steps, which are especially spectacular when they’re surrounded by fresh spring greenery and autumn leaves.
On the 2nd Saturday and Sunday of September each year, the shrine holds the Shinko Matsuri, a festival during which the Takasumi deity is carried around in portable shrines. It’s a very lively event!
Tour the Amazing Shrines and Temples of Fukuoka
Along with those featured in this article, a wealth of other prestigious, unforgettable shrines and temples await across Fukuoka Prefecture. Next time you visit Fukuoka, make sure to include a bunch of them in your itinerary to fully experience the scenery, history, and culture of Fukuoka!
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