A beautifully ornate shrine known as the Nikko of the West, Kirishima-jingu Shrine is one of japan‘s oldest Shinto shrines. It is called the Nikko of the West because of its stunning vermillion facade and detailed, colorful reliefs that contrast with the surrounding greenery.
According to Japanese mythology, Kirishima-jingu Shrine is where the god Ninigi no Mikoto descended from heaven to rule the earth. Ninigi no Mikoto, who was the grandson of the sun goddess Amaterasu, descended to earth at the peak of nearby Mt. Takachiho and married a local princess, thus becoming a mortal. This ancient shrine was constructed around the sixth century in his honor.
The shrine has a long history of being destroyed by volcanic activity. It has been rebuilt several times to preserve its cultural significance. The current shrine, which was rebuilt in 1715, is a National Treasure. Despite the challenges it has faced, the shrine continues to stand as a testament to the resilience and dedication of the Japanese people.
To get to Kirishima-jingu Shrine, there are several transportation options available. Visitors can reach the shrine by train, bus, or car. The shrine is within walking distance of Kirishima-jingu bus stop and is a short drive from Kirishima Onsen. The ease of access makes it convenient for both local residents and tourists to visit the shrine.
When visiting Kirishima-jingu Shrine, it is recommended to take a moment to appreciate the natural beauty of the surrounding area. The shrine is nestled amidst the Kirishima mountain range, which is known for its scenic views and lush greenery. The mountains are said to be the place where Ninigi no Mikoto descended from heaven, adding to the spiritual significance of the shrine.
One of the highlights of Kirishima-jingu Shrine is the main building, which features intricate decorations and ornate designs. Behind the main building, there are also lesser-visited shrines that provide a more personal and intimate encounter with the mountain god. These hidden gems offer a peaceful and serene atmosphere for reflection and prayer.
For those who are looking for a more adventurous experience, a visit to the shrine’s original location at Takachihogawara is highly recommended. This area is also the starting point of the Kirishima hiking trail, allowing visitors to combine their spiritual journey with a physical one. The rugged beauty of the hiking trail and the scenic views along the way make it a memorable experience for nature enthusiasts.
On the tenth of each month, a Shinto ceremony is held at Kirishima-jingu Shrine by the shrine’s priests. This ceremony is a chance for worshippers to pay their respects and seek blessings from the mountain god. The desolate location of the shrine during the ceremony creates a unique and atmospheric setting that is reminiscent of a scene from an Akira Kurosawa movie.
Kirishima-jingu Shrine is not only a place of worship but also a cultural landmark. It represents the rich history and traditions of Japan, showcasing the craftsmanship and artistic skills of the people who built it. The shrine’s stunning architecture and intricate details are a testament to the dedication and craftsmanship of the Japanese people.
In addition to its historical and cultural significance, Kirishima-jingu Shrine also holds spiritual energy. The ancient cedar tree next to the main shrine building, which is over 800 years old, serves as a reminder of the deep roots of this sacred place. The air around the shrine seems to carry an ancient energy, creating a sense of tranquility and peace.
Visiting Kirishima-jingu Shrine is a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in Japanese culture and spirituality. The shrine’s beauty, history, and natural surroundings combine to create a truly captivating experience. Whether you are seeking spiritual enlightenment, cultural exploration, or simply a moment of serenity, Kirishima-jingu Shrine offers it all.
In conclusion, Kirishima-jingu Shrine is a beautifully ornate shrine that holds great historical, cultural, and spiritual significance. Its stunning architecture, intricate details, and serene surroundings make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japanese culture and spirituality. Whether you are a local resident or a tourist, a visit to Kirishima-jingu Shrine is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Address And Maps Location:
2608-5 Kirishimataguchi, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima-ken