A small stream called "Amanogawa" flows through Nakatsugū, and two small shrines, Shokujo shrine and Kengyū shrine stand on both sides facing each other. These two shrine are said to will bring good luck on fulfillment of love.
Nakatsugū is said to be where the Tanabata legend originated, and every Tanabata in the lunar calendar, the Tanabata-sai, a festival that began in the Kamakura period, is held in Nakatsugū.
Long ago, a young noble sent to Tang China fell in love with a shokujo, weaving girl, on the way back. But it was a transient love and the two were separated once they came back to Japan. Since then the young noble passed the days thinking of the girl. On one night, he received a divine revelation in a dream and came to Nakatsugū, he floated a tub in Amanogawa and saw the girl in the reflecting water in the tub. Looking forwards to seeing the girl, he became a Shinto priest.
A world heritage site
“Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region” is the 21st site in Japan inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The point that the unique cult of worshipping a sacred island has continued for more than 1600 years, from the 4th century, was assessed valuable and was inscribed in 2017.
Munakata Taisha Nakatsugū is a part of the world heritage sites along with Okinoshima. The point that it is a place of worship for the three Munakata goddesses originating from the ancient ritual ceremonies that took place in Okinoshima has been assessed valuable.