This Landmark in Fukuoka Is One of the Best Sumiyoshi Shrines in Japan
Get to know one of Japan's ancient shrines.
3-1-51 Sumiyoshi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Sumiyoshi Shrine is located in the Hakata Ward, which is in the center of Fukuoka City. The ancient shrine is one of the three best Sumiyoshi Shrines in the country, along with the Sumiyoshi Shrine in Osaka and Shimonoseki. In fact, this particular shrine is said to be the origin of the 2,129 Sumiyoshi Shrines that exist all over Japan and enshrines the Sokotsutsu, Nakatsutsu, and Uwatsutsu male gods.
This Sumiyoshi Shrine is very large and takes up 26,400 sqm of space. The main shrine is nationally designated as an important cultural property. There are also structures that are thought to be flowing with mystical energies such as the Japanese noh theaters and Rikishi (warrior) statues that are also designated as the city’s important cultural properties. This shrine is also known as a shrine where the ceremony of Yokozuna sumo wrestlers entering the sumo ring takes place before the November sumo wrestling season begins. This shrine is respected by many people throughout Japan.
Its origins can be traced as far back as over 1800 years ago, when the current main shrine was rebuilt in 1623 by Fukuoka clan leader Nagamasa Kuroda. It was built in Sumiyoshi style, which is the oldest building style for shrines.
The three Sumiyoshi gods enshrined here are gods that protect you at sea. If you’re wondering why gods of sea are located inland, it’s because this place used to be the entrance of Naka River, which faced the sea.
Since some people worship this shrine as the home of the god of sumo, there is a masculine ancient rikishi (warrior) statue standing by the main shrine. The wrinkles on his right hand look like the kanji chikara, which means power in English. It’s said that you can receive that same power if you touch the statue’s hand.
There are also a few other shrines in this site. The Fukubun Koban, for one, stands in front of Shiga Shrine and was built with the money won by a lottery winner. The winner dedicated the money to the shrine to show his appreciation and share his luck with the others. Surprisingly, the man’s surname is also Shiga!
It only takes 10 minutes to walk from JR Hakata Station to the shrine. You can also get there by a two-minute-walk from the nearest bus stop. It’s unbelievable that this shrine is in the middle of the city, with a lot of green.
Sumiyoshi Shrine has had a long history dating back to ancient times, and to this day, it’s still there quietly, peacefully watching over the city of Hakata.
Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™ , and Kyushu Walker™ (10 January 2018)