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Munakata Taisha(1/9)

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Beautiful Greenery and Historic Vibes at Munakata Taisha!



Munakata Taisha is a collection of three Shinto shrines dedicated to the children of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu. The names of these three goddess daughters are Tagori Hime-no-Kami, Tagitsu Hime-no-Kami, and Ichikishima Hime-no-Kami, and are enshrined at Okistu-gu, Nakatsu-gu, and Hetsu-gu respectively. Collectively, these three shrines are referred to as “Munakata Taisha.” Okinoshima Island and related sites in the Munakata region have a tentative listing on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and in July this year, the Council for Cultural Affairs announced their bid for permanent inscription onto the list from 2017. Once the government submits their formal nomination to UNESCO by February 1st next year, the submission will be reviewed at the summer 2017 UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting!

According to the oracle of Amaterasu documented in one of Japan’s oldest books, Nihon Shoki, the three goddesses descended on Munakata to “support the successive descendants of the Emperor,” and that’s how they came to be worshipped.

The gods of Munakata Taisha have also come to be heavily revered by people to be the guardian deities of road/traffic safety. Many people will drive their recently bought cars here to have them purified, and buy road safety charms to hang inside their cars.

Passing through the torii gate to the shrine there is a pond filled with carp, and in the past, people would look at their reflection in the pond and make sure they looked neat and clean before making their way to the main shrine. This was a show of respect to the gods. Also, before visiting the shrine one must purify their hands and mouth. After cleansing one’s body of all impurities they proceed to the shrine.

Munakata Taisha is surrounded by natural beauty and even when you walk through the woods around the shrine in the heat of summer you can notice the difference in the air – it’s a strange feeling. The air is clear and refreshingly cool! When you leave the shrine you feel like both your mind and body have been cleansed.

Here's a video of us at "Munakata Taisha!"

INFORMATION: Munakata Taisha (宗像大社)

- Address: 2331 Tashima Munakata-shi, Fukuoka-ken
- Telephone Number: 0940-62-1311
- Website: http://www.munakata-taisha.or.jp/
- Feel free to visit the shrine
- Parking Facilities: Capacity for 500 vehicles
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