Saturday, July 8, 2023

Yutoku Inari Shrine Part 1 Down Below


Yutoku Inari Shrine near Kashima in Saga is considered one of the three great Inari shrines of Japan.

Though not so easy to access it still gets more than three million visitors a year.

The approach road to the shrine is flanked by a pair of giant lanterns and then a large torii straddles the street of souvenir shops that line the entrance.

The shrine was founded in 1687 by the wife of the Nabeshima Lord who ruled the area, and was operated as their family shrine.

The Romon, main gate, is particularly colorful and decorative and so the shrine has earned the nickname of " The Nikko of Kyushu".

The main hall of the shrine is built upon an 18 meter high platform exending from the hillside, similar to the famous Kiyimziudera temple in Kyoto.

Iwasaki Shrine at the base of the platform is dedicated to those seeking love.

Steps lead up to the main hall, though on a more recent visit I noticed a new elevator in a glass structure.

There is a formal Japanese garden outside the main entrance, and across the valley is the park-like outer garden with many observation points to view the shrine complex. When the azaleas are in bloom in the spring it is very colorful.

The shrine also has a museum containing armour and other historical artifacts from the Nabeshima.

I have visited twice and on both occasions there were few visitors. When the azaleas bloom and when the shrine holds festivals I suspect it gets busier.

In part two I show details of the main hall and the "tunnels" of torii that lead up to the okunoin.

I took a small detour to visit Yutoku Inari while walking day 59 of the Kyushu Pilgrimage.

Part 2 Yutoku Inari Up Above. 14 more photos....


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