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Munakata Taisha Hetsugū~Places to see nearby

Article writtenFebruary 2nd, 2020
A memorandum of facts about shrines visited. Munakata Taisha is the head shrine of more than 6000 Munakata shrines and Itsukushima shrines around Japan located in Munakata city, Fukuoka prefecture. Places to see near Munakata Taisha Hetsugū.
Please check official information before visiting. Information here may be out of date.
Please check official information before visiting. Information here may be out of date.

Umi-no-michi Munakata-kan

Umi-no-michi Munakata-kan is a facility introducing the history of Munakata area. There is a 3D image theater which you can have a simulated experience of Okinoshima, the sacred island.

No admission fee needed. Opening hours are 9am to 6pm. Closed on Mondays.

Munakata-kan seen from the Prayer hall of Hetsugū

Address is 588 Fukada, Munakata city, Fukuoka prefecture. It is just 200m away from Hetsugū.

Munakata roadside station

Munakata roadside station is located on national road 495. Specialty goods such as fresh seafood taken from the Genkai sea and seasonal vegetables are sold here, and also there is a restaurant that serves dishes made from these.

The market is open from 8:30am to 5pm through June to September, and 9am to 5pm through October to May. The restaurant is open from 9am to 5pm. It is closed on the 4th Monday of each month.

Kōnominato Munakata shrine

Munakata shrine is a shrine located on the foot of Mount Kusazaki, overlooking Port Kōnominato. It is said that Tsukakeshi shrine originally was located here, but was relocated to Mount Chausu.

It is a small shrine with just a small hokora, but is a tongū of Munakata Taisha, and Tongū-sai is held here in the Autumn festival. After travelling across the sea, Tagitsuhime-no-mikoto of Nakatsugū and Tagorihime-no-mikoto of Okitsugū reunite here with Ichikishimahime-no-mikoto of Hetsugū.

Shinbaru-Nuyama Tumulus Cluster

Shinbaru-Nuyama Tumulus Cluster is a cluster of kofuns, ancient graves, built between late 5th century and late 6th century, for the Munakata clan who enshrined the Three Munakata goddesses. It is a part of Tsuyazaki Tumulus Cluster, and a total of 41 kofuns, 5 in keyhole-shape, 1 in square-shape and 35 in circle-shape, remain in an area 800m wide.

In 2017, Shinbaru-Nuyama Tumulus Cluster was listed as was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a part of "Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region".

Miyajidake shrine

Miyajidake shrine is a shrine which is located in Fukutsu city, and enshrines Empress Jingū. It is famous for the "Hikari-no-michi", the sun going down on the extension of the approach of the shrine, that is leading straight to the ocean.

Miyajidake shrine
The approach to Miyajidake shrine

Orihata shrine

Orihata shrine is a shrine located at the foot of Mount Sayakata at the cape of Kanenomisaki, dedicated for Takeuchi-no-sukune, Sumiyoshi-no-ōkami and Shika-no-ōkami. It used to be a sessha of Munakata Taisha. Orihata shrine is listed in the Engishiki list of shrines, written in 927, and was considered as the shrine of the second highest status of Munakata district.

Takeuchi-no-sukune, enshrined in Orihata shrine, was a warrior who served Empress Jingū, when she went on a conquest to Silla. It is said that he came ashore to Kanezaki when he returned from the conquest, and after he served the successive Emperors, he returned to Kanezaki.

Kōdaiji shrine

Kōdaiji shrine is a shrine dedicated for Ōnamuji-no-mikoto and Sukunabikona-no-mikoto, located in the mountain side of Mount Kōdaiji, 499m high. It used to be a sessha of Munakata Taisha. When the shrine was established is unclear, but was counted as one of the Munakata-rokusha, the six important shrines in Munakata, together with the three Munakata shrines, Orihata shrine and Kumano shrine.

There is a yōhaijo, a place to worship a shrine from distance, at the trailhead of the mountain trail, and the main shrine is about 800m away, at the top of the mountain trail with 860 stone steps. In the shrine, there is a ginkgo tree, estimated to be over 300 years old, designated as a natural monument by Fukuoka prefecture.

Kumano shrine and Ōji shrine

Kumano shrine is a shrine dedicated for Izanagi-no-mikoto, Yomotsukotosakanō-no-mikoto, Yomotsuhayatamanō-no-mikoto, the Three Munakata goddesses and Orihata-daimyōjin, located near the mountain top of Mount Konomi, 271m high. It is said that it was established in 854 to enshrine the devided deities of Kumano Hongū as a guardian of Munakata Taisha.

At the mountain top of Mount Konomi, there is the Ōji shrine, which is the rear shrine of Kumano shrine, and also a sessha of Munakata Taisha. It is dedicated for Susanō-no-mikoto. There is a nice view of the Munakata-yotsuzuka mountains and also the Genkai sea, from the mountain top. Konomi castle, built by the Munakata clan, used to be on this mountain, and some ruins can be seen along the mountain trail.

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