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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 Chin’ekisai Festival, which is believed to ward off disasters and epidemics and is a designated intangible folk cultural asset of Oita Prefecture. Watch in awe as locals walk barefoot over scorching coals while priests recite prayers. Shrine attendants clad in white robes hurl bamboo shafts with vibrant paper streamers over a Torii gate to repel evil spirits. Finally, a masked Shinto priest performs the ethereal Ryo’o dance, the story of a valiant sixth-century Chinese prince.
Tucked within primeval forests, the grand vermillion buildings of the Usa Jingu shrine have stood largely unchanged since the eighth century. With close ties to the Imperial Family, this shrine has played a significant role in Japanese history: as the premier Hachimangu shrine, it is believed to be the birthplace of Shinto-Buddhist syncretism. 



Walk in the footprints 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.  
Access: From Hakata Station, take the Sonic limited express train to Beppu Station (about two hours).



Toyonokuni Millennium Heritage Tourism Zone


Apu Plaza, 1F, 11-8 Kyo-machi, Beppu-shi, Oita-ken

Duration Approx. 5 hours or more



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