Miyajidake is a shrine that has it all. With Japans largest Oshimenawa (Straw Rope) at 13.5 meters in length, 2.5 meters in diameter, and weighing a hefty 5 tons, this shrine is nothing but impressive. Located in Fukutsu City, in Fukuoka Prefecture, this shrine also boasts a giant bell and drum. These three items represent “The Three Number Ones” in Japan.
Miyajidake Shrine hosts 2 million visitors a year. Many people from all over Japan come to pray for business prosperity, transportation safety, and good luck. Miyajidake Shrine is also dedicated to the “legendary” Empress Jingu, who has obtained the legendary status for the lack of documents confirming most of her conquests and overall running of Japan.
Good Fortune for Newborns
Before entering the main grounds there is a lot to see. Here are many stones placed with a name and message on them. Women who are pregnant take a stone and once their baby is born, they write the name they chose for their child and place it back on the stack. It is good luck to take a stone with multiple names on it for obvious reasons as it alludes to having a healthy baby!
After climbing to the top, one of the most amazing views can be seen. Here is what it looks like on a normal day, but during sunset, it has a spectacular view of the stairs and roadway leading to the sea with the beautiful backdrop of the sun.
There are also many sculptures of horses and cows along the way. Many people will put some coins near the statues for good fortune. Here are just a couple pictures showing the distressed look and detail of these sculptures.
I love the entrance to this shrine. Before seeing the huge straw rope and main shrine, we were welcomed by a beautiful gate, fully decorated and looking rather stoic. This picture sums the shrine up rather nicely. For such interesting features, the entrance should also represent it perfectly!
Here is a closer look of the gate from another angle. I took a long time just enjoying this area and almost forgot about entering the grounds to the shrine!
There is a lot to see inside. A lot of care has been put into the detail of the surrounding area, with beautiful trees along the way and smaller shrine features such as this container used to collect running water from the shrine.
Since the shrine is located on the top of a mountain, we are also able to see a lush forest in the background. Here is a side view of the shrine that shows the trees surrounding the main building.
This is one of my favorite “mini” shrines within the grounds of Miyajidake. If you can find this little guy, let me know! Something about seeing this little straw rope right after looking at the huge 5 ton one, is just fun!
Once you are done walking around the shrine, there is a small road line with different stalls and stores. There are many different types of food to enjoy, and souvenirs to buy.
There is also a ritual held on the first day of each month beginning at midnight called “Tsuitachi Mairi”. During this time, even more food and souvenir shops are open, and the pathway leading up to the shrine is lit up beautifully.
How to Get There
By Car: 10 minute drive from JR Fukuma Station
20 minutes drive from Saga Interchange
By Bus: Take the Nishitetsu bus bound for Tsuyazaki-bashi and get off at the Miyajidake Miya Mae stop
Hours and Fees
Hours: The main Grounds are open from 7:00 AM to 7:00PM
Fee: Entrance to the shrine is free