Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Fukuoka
Population
5,015,666

Kushida Shrine

The guardian temple of Fukuoka.

Located in the heart of Hakata near the Kawabata commercial district, the Kushida Shrine is often thought of by locals as the guardian temple of the city and boasts an impressive number of sights considering its relatively small size.

For those familiar with Fukuoka’s festival scene, the shrine is one of the Hakata Gion Yamakasa’s main venues and the starting point of the final day’s float race. On the 15th July at 4:59 a.m. hundreds of men gather in their tiny short shorts and get ready to run through the downtown streets of Fukuoka bearing one-ton towering floats on their backs.

It’s a sight to which the word unique actually applies – you’ll never see anything like it.

The bigger floats are on permanent display at the shrine through the rest of the year.

Gion Yamakasa Festival

The Gion Yamakasa Festival features huge floats being raced through the streets. Photo by Masanori Shimojo.

Believed to have been founded in the year 757, Kushida is dedicated to a deity known as Ohata Nushina-Mikoto, said to be a holy ancestor of the priests at the Ise Jingu in Mie.

Spot the 1000-year old gingko tree in the forecourt which rises majestically in front of the main hall. There are also several stones believed to have been salvaged from the aftermath of the Mongol invasion back in the 13th century. Purify yourself at the fountain near the shrine’s entrance and give an offering before you pray for business prosperity and a long life.

During the festival Fukuoka residents avoid eating cucumbers as they represent the symbol of Gion-sama, the festival god enshrined in Kushida-jinja. Photo by Masanori Shimojo.

The Kushida Shrine is not big but its juxtaposition with the Fukuoka cityscape is a perfect capture of how seamlessly tradition and modern urbanization are integrated in the city. It’s worth stopping here, if only for a breather from the bustle of the center. Entrance is free and the shrine is open from 4 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day of the year.

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Things To Know

Disabled Access

The shrine is fully wheelchair accessible.

How To Get There

Address

Kamikawabatamachi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture 812-0026, Japan

By train

Located near Canal City and the Hakata Machiya Folklore Museum, Kushida-jinja can be easily accessed by foot from either the Gion or Nakasu subway stations on the Fukuoka subway line.

Where To Stay

Reisenkaku Hotel Kawabata
  • Hakata-ku Kamikawabata 8-21 Fukuoka-Shi, Fukuoka 812-0026
  • 7.5/10
  • 0.0 km
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& AND Hostel
  • Kamikawabata-Cho 10-5 Fukuoka-Shi, Fukuoka 812-0026
  • 8.6/10
  • 0.1 km
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Hotel WBF Fukuoka Nakasu
  • Hakata-ku Nakasu 3-6-19 Fukuoka-Shi, Fukuoka 810-0801
  • 8.1/10
  • 0.1 km
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WeBase Hakata Hostel
  • Hakataku Tenyamachi 5-9 Fukuoka-Shi, Fukuoka 812-0025
  • 8.8/10
  • 0.2 km
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