Sacred Ceremonies in an Ancient Land Where Gods Meet
Take a guided tour of significant shrines and temples in Oita's Kunisaki Peninsula
Head to northern Kyushu in mid-February to witness a sacred ritual where elements of Buddhism and Shintoism seamlessly intertwine. Discover the area's rich spiritual and cultural legacy at the annual Chinekisai Festival, believed to ward off disasters and epidemics and a designated an intangible folk cultural asset of Oita Prefecture. Before this, look on with awe as locals walk barefoot over scorching coals while priests recite prayers. Shrine attendants clad in white robes will hurl a bamboo shaft with vibrant paper streamers over a Torii gate to repel evil spirits. Finally, behold as a masked Shinto priest dances the ethereal "Prince of Lanling" dance.
Tucked within primeval forests, the grand vermillion buildings of Usa-jingu Shrine have stood largely unchanged for more than a millennium. With close ties to the Imperial Family, this shrine has played a significant role in Japanese history—the premier Hachimangu shrine, it is believed to the birthplace of Shinto-Buddhist syncretism.
Put yourself in shoes of the many ascetic pilgrims who have passed through these gates as part of the year-long Rokugo Manzan pilgrimage—a required practice for monks hoping to serve at the present-day Usa-jingu complex.
With a chartered jumbo taxi to and from the charming hot spring city of Beppu, visitors can sit back, relax, and enjoy Oita's stunning natural scenery. Toyonokuni Millennium Heritage Tourism Zone tours are led by knowledgeable English-speaking guides who are happy to offer insight into the deep history and enduring culture of ancient Kunisaki Peninsula.
Toyonokuni Millennium Heritage Tourism Zone
大分県別府市京町11-8 APU PLAZA1階