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Photo By: iStock/ ben-bryant
Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Fukuoka
Population
5,015,666

Sumiyoshi Shrine

Bless your trip with a lucky charm for travel from Sumiyoshi Shrine.

By Elizabeth Sok

As one of the oldest shrines in Japan, Sumiyoshi Shrine has stood in Hakata in some form for well over a millennium. Although there are thousands of Sumiyoshi Shrines across Japan, the one in Fukuoka together with Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine in Osaka and Sumiyoshi Shrine in Shimonoseki City form the Three Great Sumiyoshi Shrines. Several deities are housed within the shrine complex, including ones dedicated to travel, the sea and sumo.

Although the current structure is a reconstruction from the seventeenth century, it still holds a significant place in the cultural life of the city. For centuries, Hakata has been a key port for travelers and merchants alike looking to venture overseas. Sumiyoshi Shrine was a vital stop in their journeys abroad as people would pay their respects at the shrine and pray for safe travel. If you’re an avid traveler, why not buy a good luck charm or omamori dedicated to safe passages to hang on your backpack?

The Shrine Complex

Photo by: iStockl/ ben-bryant Walk down the path of torii or shrine gates.

In addition to the main hall which showcases one of the oldest styles of Shinto architecture and is designated as a National Important Cultural Property, there’s also a fox shrine with a path of red gates leading to it. Off to the side, you’ll come across a statue dedicated to the god of sumo whose immense hands are said to bestow strength and power to those who touch them. Near the Main Hall, you’ll find a number of items for purchase, including omamori and omikuji. There are lots to choose from, so have fun and take your pick. If you don’t like what comes out, look for a tree that has several fortunes tied up to them. Add yours to the bunch to leave your bad luck behind.

Shrine Events

Photo by: iStock/ ben-bryant Visit Sumiyoshi Shrine for seasonal events featuring traditional Japanese customs.

Sumiyoshi Shrine hosts several events during the year. At the beginning of January, the shrine welcomes visitors for the Japanese tradition of hatsumode or first shrine visit of the year. Stop by during the first three days of January to see how Japanese people ring in the new year. In October, head over to the biggest event of the year that celebrates the safe return of the Empress Jingu from Korea. Things to see include a children’s procession, Japanese archery and a sumo-wrestling event for elementary school-aged boys from the local area.

Things To Know

HOURS AND FEES

The shrine is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. 

How To Get There

Address

By train

Take the Airport Line and get off at Hakata station. From there, take a bus or walk (see below). 

By bus

From Hakata station’s Hakata Exit, go to Bus Stop A or B for a bus to Sumiyoshi Shrine.

By foot

From Hakata station’s Hakata Exit, walk about twelve minutes via Sumiyoshi-dori.

Where To Stay

Hotel Unizo Hakataeki Hakataguchi
  • 3-6-7 Hakataeki Mae, Fukuoka-shi Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, 812-0011 Japan
  • ¥10,450 - ¥12,635
  • 4.21/5 (514 reviews)
  • 0.0 km
Hotel Hokke Club Fukuoka
  • 3-1-90 Sumiyoshi, Fukuoka-shi Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, 812-0018 Japan
  • ¥9,025 - ¥11,200
  • 4.25/5 (6,146 reviews)
  • 0.1 km
APA Hotel Hakata Ekimae 3-chome
  • 3-11-6 Hakataeki Mae, Fukuoka-shi Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, 812-0011 Japan
  • ¥7,700 - ¥67,200
  • 3.94/5 (88 reviews)
  • 0.1 km
Sutton Hotel Hakata City
  • 3-4-8 Hakataeki Mae, Fukuoka-shi Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, 812-0011 Japan
  • ¥7,700 - ¥45,600
  • 3.71/5 (1,435 reviews)
  • 0.1 km
Yaoji Hakata Hotel
  • 4-9-2 Hakataeki Mae, Fukuoka-shi Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, 812-0011 Japan
  • ¥12,900 - ¥47,000
  • 4.09/5 (4,120 reviews)
  • 0.3 km

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