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Munakata Taisha Okitsugū Yōhai-jo~Where to see

Article writtenFebruary 5th, 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. Okitsugū Yōhai-jo is a place to worship the Okitsugū located on the island of Okinoshima, 60km away from mainland, from distance. Where to see at Munakata Taisha Okitsugū Yōhai-jo.
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 Information here may be out of date.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 Information here may be out of date.

Building

The building of Okitsugū Yōhai-jo existing now was built in 1933.

The building of Okitsugū Yōhai-jo

This place is for worshipping the island of Okinoshima, so on the back side there is a window to see Okinoshima.

The back side of the building of Okitsugū Yōhai-jo

Okinoshima

From Okitsugū Yōhai-jo, if the weather is fine, the island of Okinoshima can be seen. Okinoshima is about 47km away and Okitsugū which enshrines Tagorihime-no-kami, one of the three Munakata goddesses, is on this island. Also the entire island is the property of Munakata Taisha and it is regarded as a sacred island. In the 4th century, located in the key point between Japan and the continent, ritual ceremonies were held on Okinoshima to pray for a safe navigation and successful trade. The remains of a ancient ceremonial place is left on the island.

Okinoshima is strictly off limits. Until 2017, a limited number of worshippers were able to land on the day of the Genchi-taisai, but today only who has special permission, such as researchers, or Shinto priests of Munakata Taisha can land on this island. Ones who land on this island must purify themselves in the sea before landing. The island is off limits to women.

From Okinoshima many ancient artifacts, such as stone implements and earthenware has been found. Many are listed as National Treasures, and are stored in the "Shimpō-kan" in Hetsugū but academic investigation has only been conducted on a part of the island and most parts are still untouched.

Okinoshima is one of the sites of “Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region” inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and the entire island is a nationally designated natural monument.

The island of Okinoshima
learning 'jinja'
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