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Photo By: mstk east
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Bentenjima and Inasanohama Beach

A godly reunion.

In spiritual Shimane prefecture, there’s a sacred beach where eight million gods are believed to congregate once a year to determine the destiny of lovers.

Located less than a kilometer away from the historic Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, this holy stretch of shoreline is the national venue for a spectacular Shinto ritual held every November.

Up until the 19th century, Japanese people lived according to the lunar calendar (based on cycles of the moon), where each month was given a particular name. The tenth month was known as Kan-na-zuki, or the “Month of No Gods”.

Except, not in Izumo.

Photo by: nagaremono During the Month with the Gods, people from all over Japan come to the Izumo Taisha to pray for their future, tying omikuji (fortune papers) around the temple so that their wishes come true.

According to legends recorded in the Kojiki, Japan’s oldest historical record, the tenth month of the lunar calendar is known as the “Month with the Gods”, marked by the week-long Kamiari Festival. This yearly homecoming, usually held around the 10th to the 17th of November, welcomes a myriad of deities from all over Japan to Izumo, beginning with a ceremony held at Inasa Beach.

After the glow of a dramatic crimson sunset dissipates into twilight, Shinto priests burn bonfires to receive the heavenly beings from beyond the dark sea before escorting their temporary guests to the oldest shrine in Japan. The gods do a bit of catching up, then get down to business holding sake-fuelled meetings to decide the fates of couples across the country.

Benten Jima Shrine on Inasanohama Beach

See the mysterious Benten-jima shrine on Inasanohama beach. Photo by mstk east.

During the span of seven days, residents of Izumo observe this ceremony in quiet, careful not to make any disturbances, whether it be through singing, dancing, or even playing music. Finally, the gods are seen off in another ceremony to head back home to their respective shrines.

Throughout the year, you can spot a weathered shrine perched on a colossal rock at Inasanohama beach. This tiny yet mystifying shrine called Benten-jima is believed to house a female sea deity, keeping watch over seafarers and protecting them from being tossed on the waves of the Sea of Japan.

How To Get There


Japan, 〒699-0702 Shimane-ken, Izumo-shi, Taishachō Kizukikita 県道29号線

By foot

A 25-minute walk from Izumo Taisha-mae Station, or if heading directly from Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, it’s roughly a 20-minute walk straight towards the ocean.

Where To Stay

Rakuten Stay Izumo
  • 300 Taishacho Kizukihigashi, Izumo-shi, Shimane, 699-0701 Japan
  • ¥25,000 - ¥212,500
  • 0.9 km
Oyado Tsukiyo no Usagi
  • 1443-1 Taishacho Shurimen, Izumo-shi, Shimane, 699-0721 Japan
  • ¥17,765 - ¥104,940
  • 4.46/5 (1,352 reviews)
  • 1.9 km
Hot Spring Inn Kunibiki Glamping Base Izumo
  • 1230 Koryocho Nibu, Izumo-shi, Shimane, 699-0812 Japan
  • ¥12,540 - ¥25,080
  • 4.49/5 (156 reviews)
  • 8.7 km
Dormy Inn Izumo
  • 1-3-3 Eki Minamimachi, Izumo-shi, Shimane, 693-0008 Japan
  • ¥13,150 - ¥55,500
  • 8.9 km
Green Rich Hotel Izumo Futamata Yunohana
  • 1489-2 Imaichicho, Izumo-shi, Shimane, 693-0001 Japan
  • ¥7,900 - ¥19,100
  • 4.06/5 (1,208 reviews)
  • 9.0 km

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