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Photo By: PIXTA/ Mtsumizo
Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Kagoshima
Population
1,786,214

Kirishima Jingu

Take a break from the city and enjoy nature and Shinto at the historic Kirishima Jingu

By Elizabeth Sok

With several buildings designated as National Treasures in 2022, the Kirishima Jingu complex has many highlights to make a day trip from Kagoshima City. If you’re into Japanese culture and the great outdoors, be sure to check out this shrine with roots in Japanese mythology.

While the current buildings and their location date back to 1715, the origins of the shrine begin in the sixth century. According to Japanese myth, the grandson of Amaterasu, Japan’s sun goddess and one of the most important deities in Shintoism, came down from the heavens to rule on Earth. There are several versions of what happens next, but ultimately the grandson, Ninigi no Mikoto, fathers what would become the lineage of the Japanese imperial family. Kirishima Jingu is dedicated to this god as legend says that he descended to the nearby Kirishima Mountains.

Shrine Highlights

Kirishima Jingu

Photo by: PIXTA/ 空地海 A section of the Main Hall’s vermillion exterior features 24 paintings rendered in full color.

Nestled amongst the beautiful greenery of Mount Kirishima, Kirishima Jingu offers plenty of opportunities to sit with nature and spirituality. The Main Hall, Shinden Hall and Worship Hall were recognized for their incredible architecture and historic value and granted National Treasure status by the Japanese government.

A section of the Main Hall’s vermillion exterior features 24 paintings rendered in full color that depict acts of filial piety while the entrance to the hall is flanked by two ornate columns decorated with dragons and clouds.

Strolling around the shrine, you’ll also come across a sacred pine tree measuring 35 meters tall that is 800 years old; it is supposedly the originator of all pines in southern Kyushu. With its myriad of pebbles and small stones clustered together, sazare-ishi is another popular spot as the site is referenced in the Japanese national anthem.

Seasonal Events

Kirishima Jingu

Photo by: PIXTA/ グッチー A beautiful shrine nearby a mountain.

Falling at the beginning of February, setsubun is a traditional Japanese holiday that wards off evil from the home while welcoming good fortune. Kashima Jingu welcomes visitors to join in the festivities which include bean throwing at demons and lotteries for a slew of prizes.

If you’re planning a trip around the end of March and the beginning of April, you won’t want to miss the more than 200 cherry trees that come into full bloom. Snap some shots of the exploding pinks and whites contrasted against the thick forest and red shrine architecture.

Things To Know

Hours and fees

The shrine is open every day, 24 hours a day. It is free to enter.

How To Get There

Address

By train

From Kirishima Jingu station on the JR Nippo-honsen, take a bus bound for Kirishima Iwasaki Hotel and get off at Kirishima Jingu bus stop. 

By car

Take the Kyushu Expressway and exit at Mizobe-kagoshimakuko IC toward the airport. Then, take National Road 504, Prefectural Road 475 and Prefectural Road 60 to the site. 

Where To Stay

Kirishima Seiryuso
  • 3806 Makizonocho Takachiho, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima, 899-6603 Japan
  • ¥23,000 - ¥102,600
  • 5.2 km
Kirishima Hot Spring Village Kirishima Hotel
  • 3948 Makizonocho Takachiho, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima, 899-6603 Japan
  • ¥22,000 - ¥29,700
  • 4.43/5 (1,642 reviews)
  • 5.3 km
La Vista Kirishima Hills
  • 3812-6 Makizonocho Takachiho, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima, 899-6603 Japan
  • ¥25,200 - ¥32,900
  • 4.57/5 (1,104 reviews)
  • 5.5 km
Kirishima Onsenkyo Kirishima Miyama Hotel
  • 3900-3 Makizonocho Takachiho, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima, 899-6603 Japan
  • ¥8,850 - ¥17,700
  • 4.32/5 (490 reviews)
  • 5.7 km
Kirishima Kanko Hotel
  • 3885 Makizonocho Takachiho, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima, 899-6603 Japan
  • ¥11,000 - ¥12,100
  • 4.31/5 (2,468 reviews)
  • 5.7 km

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