May's Fukuoka City Guide

You are in: Fukuoka: Places To Go: Kushida Shrine

1-41, Kamikawabatamachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Kushida Shrine
Type: Temples/Shrines  (Qjmp: 7036)

The"Yamagasa" shrine.

Kushida Shrine 

Kushida shrine lies at the heart of old Hakata, the centre of the old city and is from here that the competitors in Fukuoka's most famous festival, the Yamagasa depart on their long early morning run.

Founded in 757, Kushida shrine is not only spectacular but contains a variety of items of interest. Note in particular the Eto Arrow plate with its carvings of the Chinese zodiac and the brace of anchor stones recovered from the harbour that belonged to the Mongolian invasion fleets. Note also the Yamakasa portable shrine.

There is a ginko tree in the forecourt that a 1918 monument claims is 1000years old. The grand deity, Ohata Nushina-mikoto, is enshrined here.

But it is in mid-July that the shrine is best enjoyed - it hosts the "Oiyama" event of the Yamakasa-gion festival. Hundreds of near naked men clad only in tight loincloths and tighter buttocks vie to carry heavy wooden shrines through the streets over a set route in the fastest times. The main event commences at 4:59am.

English notes are available from the shrine office.

The shrine is within easy walking distance of either Nakasu or Gion subway stations.

Gion st'n

3 min from Canal City Hakata-mae b'stop on foot.

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First published Fri Aug 04, 2000
    Updated Mon Jun 18, 2001
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