Fukuoka's Munakata Taisha: The Much Talked-About World Heritage Site! A Yearly Parade on the Sea??


Munakata Taisha is a shrine that became well-known after it was named a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2017. The Munakata area was chosen for the shrine's location due to it being the closest place to the Korean Peninsula and mainland Asia, and the enshrined goddesses are revered as protectors of the imperial state.

What is Munakata Taisha?


Munakata Taisha is the main shrine for the over 6,000 shrines across Japan that are devoted to the 3 Munakata goddesses, including Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima Prefecture. It consists of 3 shrines, the Hetsu-gu Shrine on mainland Kyushu, Nakatsu-gu Shrine on Oshima Island about 6.5km offshore, and Okitsu-gu Shrine, on Okinoshima Island.

80,000 National Treasures in the Shinpo-kan Treasure Hall

Gold ring (Shinpo-kan permanent display)

Gilt bronze dragon head (Shinpo-kan permanent display)

 View of the Shinpo-kan

Within the easily-accessible Hetsu-gu Shrine, there are several things to see, such as the festival grounds taking up the space unoccupied by the main hall and shrine building (both important cultural assets) where ancient rites still take place, and there is also the Shinpo-kan Treasure Hall that displays the 80,000 religious artifacts (all national treasures), such as the bronze mirrors, gold rings, and gilt bronze dragon heads that were excavated on Okinoshima Island.

Spot Information

  • Spot name: Munakata Taisha Shinpo-kan
  • Opening hour:9:00~16:30 (last entry 16:00)
  • Holiday: No holidays
  • Wi-Fi:Not available
  • Language:Japanese Only
  • Ticket Purchase:800円 800 yen
  • Credit cards: No credit cards accepted

Experience Okinoshima Island! The Sea Road Munakata Hall

On the north side of Hetsu-gu Shrine is the "Sea Road Munakata Hall", where you can experience Okinoshima Island, which is closed to the public, through a large screen and 3D video.

Spot Information

  • Spot name: Sea Road Munakata Hall
  • Opening hour:9:00~18:00
  • Holiday: Mondays (if Monday is a holiday, the next day will be off instead), New Years (12/29 ~ 1/3)
  • Wi-Fi:Available
  • Language:Only Japanese
  • Ticket Purchase:Free admission
  • Credit cards: No credit cards accepted

What You Should Know Before Visiting Munakata Taisha: Why it's a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site

Enoshima Island viewing from the boat

Okinoshima Island, located about 60km off the shore of Kyushu, has been worshipped as a place where the gods live since ancient times. Now, general access is not allowed. A total of 8 assets, including Munakata Taisha, which includes Okinoshima, were registered as World Heritage Sites in July of 2017, as part of the "demonstration of the unprecedented development and succession of faith in the world".

A Must-See Festival at Munakata Taisha! The Marine Parade "Miare Festival"

 Every year on October 1st, begins an autumn festival to pray for a good harvest by welcoming the goddesses to the mainland, starting at Oshima Island's Nakatsu-gu Shrine and Okinoshima Island's Okitsu-gu Shrine, and headed to Hetsu-gu Shrine on the mainland. The climax is when hundreds of fishing boats parade for about an hour from Oshima Island to the Mainland, surrounding the boat on which the goddesses are riding.

Access to Munakata Taisha

From Hakata Station to Munakata Taisha Hetsu-gu Shrine

JR Hakata Station → take [Kagoshima Main Line Rapid] approx. 30 minutes → JR Togo Station East Exit → take [Nishitetsu Bus bound for Munakata Taisha / Konominato Toba (via Munakata Taisha)]] → approx. 12 minutes → get off at Munakata Taisha-mae bus stop ... a short walk

From Tenjin to Munakata Taisha Hetsu-gu Shrine

Tenjin / Nichigin-mae Bus Stop → take [Nishitetsu Bus Munakata-go] → About 60 minutes → get off at Munakata Taisha-mae Bus Stop ... A short walk

Access to Munakata Taisha Nakatsu-gu Shrine

JR Togo Station → take [Nishitetsu Bus “Munakata Taisha / Konominato Hatoba bound (via Munakata Taisha)”] → About 20 minutes → get off at Konominato Hatoba Bus Stop → take [Municipal Ferry “Shiokaze”] → About 15 minutes, or [Ferry “Oshima”] → Approximately 25 minutes → Oshima Port ... Approximately 5 minutes on foot

About Shrine

  •  Year Built: Unknown
  •  Enshrined Deities: Kyushu mainland "Hetsu-gu Shrine": Ichikishima Himenokami / Oshima "Nakatsu-gu Shrine": Tagitsu Himenokami / Okinoshima "Okitsu-gu Shrine": Tagori Himenokami
  • Festivals: Tanabata Festival (July 7th), Miare Festival (October 1st)

Spot Information

  • Spot name: Munakata Taisha
  • Address:2331, Tajima, Munakata-shi, Fukuoka-ken,  postcode 811-3505
  • Open hours:Munakata Taisha Hetsu-gu Shrine: 9:00 - 17:00, Nakatsu-gu Shrine is never closed
  • Holiday: No holidays
  • Wi-Fi:Not available
  • Language:Japanese Only
  • Ticket Purchase:Free admission
  • Credit cards: No credit cards accepted


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