Kagoshima's Kirishima Shrine: Try on a Kimono, Get a Love Fortune and Take a Stroll!

Kirishima Shrine, located in Kirishima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, is a must-see place if you visit Kirishima. It is a shrine with a rich mythology, and recently it has become known as a power spot in Kyushu, growing in popularity.

What is Kirishima Shrine?

The main character of the Japanese myth, "Tenson Kourin", Ninigi-no-Mikoto, is the main deity of the historically prestigious 6th century shrine. The shrine is surrounded by lush greenery, and has a sacred atmosphere. As you walk along the approach, you will find the 300 year-old vermilion main sanctuary (an important cultural property) that was built by the 21st feudal lord of the Satsuma Domain (modern-day Kagoshima), Shimazu Yoshitaka. When the shrine was built, it was positioned at the southern entrance to Mt. Takachiho-no-Mine, but it was destroyed by the volcanic eruptions of Mt. Kirishima, and rebuilt several times before being relocated to its current location over 500 years ago.

Over 100 rituals are held annually, but the ones that attract the most attention from both inside and outside the prefecture are the Otaue Festival, held on February 4th, the Saitan Festival, on January 1st, and the Kigen Festival on February 11th, where they perform on the Kumen-taiko drums, drawing many visitors.

What to Know Before Visiting Kirishima Shrine! Basic Mythology

According to the Japanese history books, the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, the place where the gods first descended to earth was Mt. Takachiho-no-Mine in Kirishima (there are various versions), and the god that descended at that time was the main deity of Kirishima Shrine, Ninigi-no-Mikoto.

Highlights of Kirishima Shrine

The main highlight of Kirishima Shrine is the Sacred Tree (the Measa Cedar). In the garden in front of the main sanctuary, is the 35 meters tall, 800-year-old cedar tree. It is said to be the ancestor of the cedars in the southern Kyushu area. Also, a must-see is the ornamentation on the Chokushi-den Imperial envoy hall. Legendary creatures, tapirs and lions decorate the building. Also, the hill that leads between the Chokushi-den and the Chinshu village shrine, the "Kameishi-zaka", begins with stone steps, with huge trees in the path, giving it a mysterious atmosphere. It is said that Saigo Takamori and Sakamoto Ryoma walked along this road to worship.

What to Buy at Kirishima Shrine: Fortunes and Amulets

We recommend the "Love Fortunes", with a little boy and girl dolls attached (200 yen), or the "Kirishima Flower Amulet", which has a colorful floral print and supposedly the ability to fulfill any wish (800 yen).

6 of the 7 Wonders of Kirishima are at Kirishima Shrine!

There are 7 mysterious phenomena called the "7 Wonders of Kirishima" that have been around since ancient times. The first is the "Wind Hole", out of which a weak wind is always blowing. The second is the Mitarashi River, which has no water from November to April, but once it becomes May, water flows and the river fills with fish. The third is a stone that looks just like a turtle, which stands in the old approach path to the shrine. They say that the turtle broke a promise to a god, so he was turned to stone.

Stroll Around Kirishima Shrine in Japanese Clothing!

The Kirishima City Tourism Association offers a plan where you can wear a kimono and visit Kirishima Shrine. You can choose a kimono from among a colorful assortment, have help putting it on, and take a stroll around Kirishima Shrine. The kimono rental and dressing fee is 3,000 yen for both men and women. If you don't have your own tabi socks, women can buy some for 500 yen, and men rent some for the same. Women can use the plan by themselves, but men can not, so please register as a couple. Reservations are required to be made by the reservation form on the official website (available in English) at least 5 days in advance.

Access to Kirishima Shrine

From [JR Nippo Main Line] Kirishima Jingu Station → take [Kagoshima Kotsu "Kirishima Iwasaki Hotel bound" bus] → About 15 minutes → get off at the Kirishima Jingumae bus stop... A short walk

About Shrine

  • Built: 6th Century
  • Main Deity: Ninigi-no-Mikoto
  • Festivals: Monthly Festival, every month on the 19th, open to the general public / Dedication Festival, also known as the June Light Festival (Kento-sai, or Rokugatsu-do), August 5th, etc.

Spot Information

  • Spot name:Kirishima Shrine/ 霧島神宮
  • Address:2608-5,  Kirishima-Taguchi, Kirishima City, Kagoshima Prefecture (zipcode: 899-4201)
  • Access: See above
  • Opening hour:Always open
  • Holiday:No holidays
  • Wi-Fi:Unavailable
  • Language:Only Japanese
  • Ticket Purchase:Free admission