Tsukiyomi Shrine (つきよみじんじゃ)

A place where a mysterious power dwells

Area
Iki
Category
History&Culture
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You can feel a quiet and mysterious power at Tsukiyomi Shrine which boasts traditions and status with a steep stone step path starting from its torii gate. It is said that the god here does everything concerned with the moon (e.g., the calendar and the rising and pulling of the tide). The story also goes that he listens to prayers for safety and safe voyages. This shrine is considered the original shrine of the Tsukiyomi Shrines found all over Japan. Traditional Iki kagura (ancient Shinto music and dancing) is dedicated to the gods at the regularly held festival here. This serves as a prayer to the gods.

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Information

Address 811-5732 長崎県壱岐市芦辺町国分東触464番地
Parking Parking lot available
Access 10 minutes by car from Ashibe Port
Website Tripadvisor

In the chronicle of Japanese myths called the Kojiki, which is said to have been written in the early 8th century, the god Izanagi-no-Mikoto and the goddess Izanami-no-Mikoto, who shaped the land of Japan, are said to have first begotten the goddess of the sun and then the god of the moon.
It is this second-born deity, Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto, who is venerated at this shrine and is the original god to whom is dedicated the Tsukuyomi Shrine within Matsuo Taisha Shrine in Kyoto. In 487, an individual named Oshimi-no-Sukune divided the god’s power to share it with the shrine in Kyoto, and this is how the Shinto religion is said to have spread from Iki to central Japan. This is also why Iki Island is said to be the birthplace of Shinto.
In ancient times, people believed that mighty trees, giant boulders, and towering mountains were places where the gods come down to earth, and so such areas were consecrated. Before long, these sites became temporary locations for ceremonies, and buildings were constructed on the sacred grounds for shelter from the wind and rain. These structures were also influenced by the temple architecture of China and eventually became the shrines that we see today.

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