Extend your life by going around the sacred tree, Okusu
Kinomiya Jinja Shrine, has long been known as an auspicious place where the God of fortune and luck resides. In Japan there is the belief that there are 8 million Gods “Yaoyorozuno Kami” and that “Gods dwell in all things of nature”. For this very reason, shrines differ from temples as shrines have sacred water and sacred trees whereas temples have statues of Buddha.
Kinomiya shrine has a natural designated monument, a sacred tree called “Okusu” which is more than 2,000 years old.
It is said that when you go around the 24m thick tree one time, your life is extended by one year; thee tree is visited by many worshipers to capitalise on the life force of the tree’s longevity, recover from sickness and pray for good health. Additionally, wishes come true when you go around without telling anyone of your wish. At night the area is lit up making for a mystical atmosphere. The shrine is enjoyable in the morning, afternoon and night.
The beginning of Kinomiya Shrine was about 1,300 years ago on June 15th of the lunar calendar. When a fisherman pulled out his fishing nets from Atami Bay a wooden statue was caught in them and this was a sign of blessing from the oracle. Offerings of scorched wheat, lily bulbs, tokoro (species of wild yam) and Daidai oranges were made to the deity and pleased it much. Each year, to mark this event a festival known as the “Burning festival” is held from July 14 to 16. The wooden statue that was raised on the Ohama Coast is placed on a “mikoshi”, a portable shrine, and carried to Sun Beach. Along the way, the monkey deity dressed in high-heeled clogs with a Tengu mask sprinkles burnt wheat on people, which is said to help prevent illness.
※Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1873 however old festivals are held according to the lunar calendar.
||43-1, Nishiyama-cho, Atami City, Shizuoka
|Access||Take buses bound for Nishiyama from JR Atami Station, buses take about 15 minutes → get off at Kinomiya Jinjya Mae|