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Usa Jingu in Oita Prefecture is the head shrine of 44,000 shrines nationwide worshipping a deity called Yahatanokami and has enjoyed veneration of the imperial family from ancient times. In the precinct of this historical shrine, which is said to have been built in 725, exist more than 10 smaller shrines in addition to the main one, hence requiring a decent amount of time to explore. With a recently heightened reputation of being the most powerful spiritual spot in Oita Prefecture, it draws 1.5 million visitors annually, fast becoming a popular destination for tourists.
- 2859 Minamiusa, Usa-shi, Oita
- Contact No.
- Take Oita Kotsu Bus bound for Nakatsu/Yokkaichi. 15 minutes to Usa Hachiman Stop.
- Opening Hours / Holidays
- 5:30-21:00 (6:00-21:00 from October to March). Treasure Hall is open 9:00-16:00
Treasure Hall closed on Tuesdays
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 90 minutes
- Admission fee
- Admission fee for Treasure Hall: 300 yen
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Meotoiwa to strengthen the bond in marriage and love
In the precinct of Usa Jingu, there is a path leading up to Wakamiya Shrine. We would like you to pay close attention to your feet as you proceed. Among the stones making up the pavement, there are two that are larger than the other stones and look like they are snuggling to each other. When a married couple or partners step on both stones at the same time while holding hands, it is said to bring good fortune. If you are single, use both feet, with one foot on one stone.
A camphor tree that brings good luck
A big camphor tree, 30 meters in height and 5 meters at its trunk’s perimeter, stands in front of the Main Hall of the main shrine. It is being increasingly talked about since a certain popular group in Japan saw their new album becoming a huge hit after one of its members visited here where he rested both his hands on the camphor tree’s trunk and wished for success. This episode has spread and now many visitors are spotted every day putting their hands on the tree.
Mystical water springing at a God-residing fountain
Behind the main shrine lies Hishigata-ike (pond), where the Deity is believed to have appeared. There are three mystical springs by the pond and it is said that the water from the spring has the divine power “to cure any ailment” and “to bring intellectual growth,” making this another popular spiritual spot in the precinct.
Stone statues answering your “once-in-a-lifetime” wish
Stone statues placed at Awashima Shrine in the precincts are other powerful spiritual objects, albeit slightly less known. It is said that these two stone statues answer your wish only once in your lifetime if you manage to pray in front them without being seen by anyone else. It is a place where you secretly visit when you have a desperate aspiration.