Precious Places in Japan

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Munakata Taisha Shrine in Munakata, Fukuoka (Shutterstock)

SACRED ISLAND OF OKINOSHIMA AND ASSOCIATED SITES IN THE MUNAKATA REGION

Located 60 kilometres off the western coast of Kyushu, Okinoshima is an exceptional example of the tradition of worship of a sacred island.
The archaeological sites that have been preserved on the island are virtually intact and provide a chronological record of how the rituals performed there changed from the 4th to the 9th centuries AD. In these rituals, votive objects were deposited as offerings at different sites on the island.

I N F O R M A T I O N

While the original Munakata shrine is situated on offering at different sites on the island. Okinoshima is off-limits to the public, you can visit
the other two, the Nakatsu and Hetsu Shrines. From Fukuoka City, the nearest well-connected major city, take the train to Munakata and then a bus via Hetsu Shrine to the port for the ferry to Oshima Island, where the Nakatsu Shrine is located.

WHEN TO GO
April, May and October offer the highest likelihood of pleasant daytime temperatures. Fukuoka summers (June to September) are hot, rainy, and best avoided.


HOW TO GET THERE

Get the full Japanese-style inn experience at Nansuikaku (www.nansuikaku.com/en), complete with hot-spring baths and authentic local cuisine. For a resort-style option with several restaurants and an open-air onsen, go for Royal Hotel Munakata (www.daiwaresort.jp/global/munakata).

By Asian Geographic Magazine


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