Visit the Shrines of Iki Island Where the Gods Dwell
Iki Island is described in the mythology that appears in Japan's oldest history book as being the fifth island created in Japan. It has been said that Iki Island has a role of being a traffic route connecting the heaven and the earth and that it is a place which has had a close relationship with the gods since ancient times. There are still now over 150 shrines on the island. Visit these shrines to feel the power of the gods.
- Kojima Shrine: Where the Approach Road Appears from the Ocean
- Sumiyoshi Shrine with a Fufu Kusu (Married Couple camphor Tree) That Makes Your Wishes Come True
- Ondake Shrine Where Many Stone Monkeys Welcome Worshippers
- Amanotanagao Shrine: The Shrine with the Highest Status on Iki Shrine
- Shomo Shrine: A Shrine with a History of More Than 1,300 Years
- Sai Shrine: A fertility shrine dedicated to marriage and easy childbirth.
- Tsukiyomi Shrine: Where You Can Feel the Power of the God of the Moon
Kojima Shrine: Where the Approach Road Appears from the Ocean
Kojima Shrine is said to answer prayers for the fulfilment of romance, marriage and prosperous business. The entire island where the shrine is located has been designated as holy ground. This means you are not allowed to take even one branch away from the island. The approach road to the shrine appears from the sea only when the tide is being pulled by the attraction of the sun and the moon. The shrine is also called the "Mont Saint-Michel of Japan." It is also popular as a location thought to be flowing with mystical energy. When the tide starts to be pulled, you may come across marine life on the approach road that was on the seabed at high tide. Search for the heart-shaped stone that is rumored to make dreams of love come true!
Sumiyoshi Shrine with a Fufu Kusu (Married Couple camphor Tree) That Makes Your Wishes Come True
Sumiyoshi Shrine is a shrine that enshrines several gods who protect the land of Iki Island. In addition to a very valuable sacred mirror (one of the three sacred treasures) discovered in the pond in the grounds of the shrine, you will find many other valuable cultural properties from around the 8th century to the 16th century preserved here. The Iki Daidai Kagura is presented here every year in December to bring to an end Iki Kagura (ancient Shinto music and dancing). The shrine is known for the god of marriage. It is said that you will be blessed with a good match by walking around the Fufu Kusu (Married Couple Camphor Tree) in the grounds of the shrine (counterclockwise for men and clockwise for women).
Ondake Shrine Where Many Stone Monkeys Welcome Worshippers
Ondake Shrine is a sacred place where the whole mountain was designated as a god up to 100 years ago. More than 300 stone statues of monkeys adorn the grounds of the shrine side-by-side. It is said that this god guides everything in a good direction. Various prayers for business success and academic achievement are answered here. There is a rock at the rear of the shrine with a mysterious magnetic force in that the needles of compasses do not move normally. This means it is also attracting attention as a location thought to be flowing with mystical energy. You can enjoy an unbroken view up to the ocean from the observation deck at the entrance of the shrine. We also recommend you take a break in the cafe on the grounds of the shrine.
Will You Be Blessed with a Good Match If You Visit Both Shrines?
Mendake (Female Peak) Shrine is found on the opposite side of the mountain separated by a dam from the mountain where Ondake (Male Peak) Shrine is located. This god is married to the god of Ondake Shrine. Therefore, it is said that you will be blessed with a good match if you visit both shrines. The stone of the object of worship located a little further away here is also attracting attention as a location thought to be flowing with mystical energy that disturbs the needles of compasses like the rock of Ondake Shrine.
Amanotanagao Shrine: The Shrine with the Highest Status on Iki Shrine
Amanotanagao Shrine is the shrine with the highest status on Iki Island. The Maitreya Tathagata Statue (a seated figure related to Buddhism) has been designated an important cultural property of Japan as the third oldest stone statue in Japan. When you pass under the torii gate along the road, you will enter sacred precincts overgrown with trees. If you climb the 137 stone steps, you will find the shrine built at the top of the mountain. You can pray for the sound health of your children in the hall next to it. Baby clothes and toys are offered here.
Remains of Amanotanagahime Shrine with the Legend of the Milky Way
You will come across the remains of a shrine with only the torii gate still remaining across the river from Amanotanagao Shrine. There is a legend of the Milky Way that says the male god of Amanotanagao Shrine and the female god of Amanotanagahime Shrine can only meet once a year across the river. This mysterious place is also attracting attention as a location thought to be flowing with mystical energy. It is believed that you will be blessed with a good match if you visit both shrines.
Shomo Shrine: A Shrine with a History of More Than 1,300 Years
Shomo Shrine, which was built in the early 8th century, is a shrine with a history of more than 1,300 years. It enshrines the Empress Jingu who is said to have protected the land of Katsumoto since ancient times. She is worshipped as a goddess of nautical safety, gambling, children and easy childbirth. Many historic cultural properties (e.g., gates and stone walls) remain in the grounds of the shrine. This is in addition to the colorful main shine building and the giant clam washbasin for cleaning hands donated from Palau.
A Festival That Enlivens the Whole Town
The town of Katsumoto is enlivened on Shomo Shrine Grand Festival over five days from October 10 every year. Festival music plays from early in the morning and a regatta is held with a red boat and a white boat to pray for big catches of fish and safety at sea. It is said that there will be big catches of fish if the red boat wins and a good harvest if the white boat wins. A parade of fishing boats flying banners indicating a big catch and a costume parade are held at the Katsumoto Port Festival on October 15. This port town overflows with energy during this festival. It is a festival worth seeing.
Sai Shrine: A fertility shrine dedicated to marriage and easy childbirth.
In Japanese mythology, a goddess said to have lured a god with an audacious dance, is enshrined here. Many people visit to pray for marriage and easy childbirth. The giant male symbol and the stone statue object of worship at the entrance are illuminated in the evening to emit a divine glow.
Tsukiyomi Shrine: Where You Can Feel the Power of the God of the Moon
Tsukiyomi Shrine, which is located in a dense forest, is a place where you can feel a quiet and mysterious power. The god here is responsible for everything related to the moon (e.g., the calendar and the ebb and flow of the tide). It is said that he will listen to all wishes. With Tsukiyomi Shrines located all over Japan, this is a shrine that boasts tradition and status.