Towards the top of Yoshinoyama town, this World Heritage Shinto shrine is worth the walk. The entrance is marked by a red wooden torii and the red and white Sakuramon gate. As you enter the courtyard, it is clear that this is one of the oldest shrines in the area, with a serene atmosphere. Set above the courtyard, the main hall of worship is quite unusual, with a low gabled roof housing three structures. In front, the weeping cherry blossom trees add to the slightly melancholy beauty.
Since the 9th century, people have come here to pray to Ame-no-Mikumari-no-Kami, deity of running water who also governs fertility and childbirth. The present shrine was rebuilt by Toyotomi Hideyori in the 16th century to honour his father, famed warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who united Japan after a long period of civil war. Hideyoshi had prayed here for a son.
As you turn to leave the shrine, you will notice a mysterious wooden owl sculpture, that is unusually lifelike. No one seems to know how it came to be here. A short walk from the shrine is Hanayagura Observatory, which has the best views of the whole area.
Last update: 2016-11-15
- Venue Details & Access Info
1612 Yoshinoyama, Yoshino, Yoshino
From Kintetsu Yoshino ropeway Yoshinoyama Station:
90 minutes on foot from the station.
Related Venues Hanayagura Observatory
- 吉野水分神社 子守宮 Yoshino Mikumari-jinja Shrine
- address 吉野郡吉野町吉野山1612 1612 Yoshinoyama, Yoshino, Yoshino
- Opening Time & Admissions
8:00 - 16:00
Apr: 8:00 - 17:00
Open all year round
Available Foreign Languages
No foreign language spoken (Japanese only)
- Contact Details