Take our user survey here!
Photo By: PIXTA/ hashiiiii
Largest City

Keya Kurotatsu Shrine

The historic Keya Kurotatsu Shrine in Fukui Prefecture was built to protect Japan in ancient times.

By Jeanne Croteau

You won’t need to venture far from Fukui station to visit one of the most significant shrines in Japan. Keya Kurotatsu Shrine has a rich history and is a popular power spot in Fukui Prefecture today. Many visit to pray for success in business, ward off evil spirits and enjoy special events.

Going through a turning point or time of transition? Many believe that, through prayer, a visit to Keya Kurotatsu Shrine can bring wisdom and comfort during those pivotal life moments.

The Legend of Kuzuryu

keya kurotatsu shrine

The entrance leading up to the shrine.

To understand the history of Keya Kurotatsu Shrine, one must first look towards another spiritually significant location nearby — the lush, moss-covered forest in the city of Katsuyama. This is where you’ll find Fukui’s beloved Heisenji Hakusan Shrine.

Once the largest religious settlement in Japan, it was originally founded as a Buddhist temple in 717. According to legend, during the latter half of the 9th century, the monks of Heisenji witnessed an incarnation of the sacred Mount Hakusan.

When they placed a statue of this incarnation in the river, Kuzuryu, the nine-headed dragon, appeared and accepted it as an offering. After he carried the effigy of Mount Hakusan downriver, the waters became known as the Kuzuryu River. With this added significance, a shrine was dedicated to protecting the river.

One of the Four Great Ancient Shrines

keya kurotatsu shrine

Before leaving, buy an amulet or two.

During the mid-10th century, it’s believed that four shrines were established to protect the four corners of Japan. The Keya Kurotatsu Shrine was built to defend the north, including the enshrined guardian deity of the Kuzuryu River, a black dragon named Kurotatsu.

With this history, Keya Kurotatsu Shrine is popular among those who wish to dispel evil spirits, attract good luck and pray specifically for prosperity in business. Visit the shrine today and you’ll see banners proudly declaring its status as a modern-day power spot. The workers warmly honor its connection to dragons and even include one on their goshuin (a collectible stamp offered by shrines and temples).

Shinto Rituals and Festivals

keya kurotatsu shrine

Change your fortune and make a wish.

There are many ways to experience Keya Kurotatsu Shrine. The Gankake Ishi, or Wishing Stone, was taken from the Kuzuryu River and offered to the shrine more than 1,000 years ago. Visitors can strike the stone three times before making a wish.

Looking to get rid of bad luck? Transfer all that negative energy by blowing it into a clay cup and smashing it against the Yakuwari Ishi, a stone used for changing your fortune! Keya Kurotatsu even hosts a monthly dragon festival where you can pray for peace and prosperity.

Things To Know

Hours and fees

Keya Kurotatsu Jinja is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You may purchase goshuin stamps and omamori (amulets and charms) during these hours. There are no admission fees.

How To Get There


By bus

From Fukui station, take the 71 Undo-Koen Line to Keyacho bus stop. Then, walk five minutes to the shrine.

By car

It is a 10-minute drive from JR Fukui station

By foot

It is about a 20-minute walk from Fukui station.

Where To Stay

Hotel Riverge Akebono
  • 3-10-12 Chuo, Fukui-shi, Fukui, 910-0006 Japan
  • ¥7,300 - ¥37,400
  • 4.09/5 (3,570 reviews)
  • 0.6 km
AZ Inn Fukui (formerly Ace Inn Fukui)
  • 3-4-20 Chuo, Fukui-shi, Fukui, 910-0006 Japan
  • ¥8,750 - ¥18,900
  • 3.88/5 (1,461 reviews)
  • 0.6 km
Fukui Manten Hotel Ekimae (Manten Hotel Chain)
  • 1-11-1 Chuo, Fukui-shi, Fukui, 910-0006 Japan
  • ¥8,500 - ¥11,280
  • 4.29/5 (1,298 reviews)
  • 0.9 km
Hotel Fujita Fukui
  • 3-12-20 Ote, Fukui-shi, Fukui, 910-0005 Japan
  • ¥7,000 - ¥20,800
  • 4.07/5 (813 reviews)
  • 1.0 km
Hotel Keifuku Fukui Ekimae
  • 1-18-1 Hinode, Fukui-shi, Fukui, 910-0859 Japan
  • ¥6,900 - ¥13,600
  • 3.65/5 (1,307 reviews)
  • 1.1 km

Topics: , ,