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Explore Hiroshima pre-war history on the Futaba-yama Walk of History

Demon Gate in Mt Futaba

Mt Futaba can be easily identified by the silver pagoda that can be seen from all around the city. The location of the mountain is significant. Mt Futaba sits at the kimon or “Demon Gate”, to the northwest of Hiroshima Castle. This is the direction from which misfortune is traditionally thought to come and Hiroshima’s early rulers took the threat seriously. To stop such evil in its tracks, they commissioned the building of a string of temples and shrines along the foot of the mountain.

15 places of religious and historical significance are connected by the Futaba-no-sato History Walk. The entire walk is around 10km and can take most of a day, but focusing on the 7 temples and shrines closest to Hiroshima Station (Nigistu Shrine, Myojoin Temple, Tsuruhane Shrine, Toshogu Shrine, Onaga-tenmangu Shrine, Kokuzenji Temple and Saikoji Temple) makes for a very pleasant and, usually peaceful, excursion that can be completed in around 2 hours.

Adding the hike up through a tunnel of red shrine gates to the Peace Pagoda on the summit of Mt Futaba adds an extra element of challenge and you are rewarded with great views.

The Futaba-no-sato History Walk can be accessed from the North Exit of Hiroshima Station. Ask at the tourist information counters in Hiroshima Station for an English Futaba-no-sato History Walk map.

Futaba-yama walk of history


Futaba-yama walk of history

Lucky 7

The temples and shrines at the base of Mt Futaba all have long histories and have long been places to which local people have turned for spiritual support and called upon for good fortune. More recent additions are the statues of the shichi-fuku-jin Seven Lucky Gods, one in each of 7 shrines and temples. This little Seven Lucky Gods pilgrimage adds structure to your walk and can be quite useful for keeping kids motivated. The statues are made of stone and are marked by blue or red banners with shichi-fuku-jin written in white Japanese characters.

At Nigitsu Shrine you will find Ebisu god of prosperity and wealth in business. He is also the god of fishermen, which is why he carries a fishing rod and a plump fish.

At Myojoin Temple stands Bishamonten who comes from the Hindu god Kubera and is the god of fortune in war and battle, dressed and carrying a pagoda in his left hand.

At Tsuruhane Shrine is Benzaiten, comes from the Hindu goddess Saraswati. She is the goddess of wisdom and water and wisdom and carries a traditional Japanese biwa lute.

Behind the main building in the precinct of Toshogu Shrine is Fukurokuju, the god of wisdom, luck, longevity, wealth and happiness. He is characterized by the size of his head and carries a cane in one hand and a scroll in the other.

Below the tall trees in Onaga-tenmangu Shrine is the statue of Juroujin, the god of the elderly and longevity. Said to be based on a real person who was about 1.8 meters he is represented here holding a staff in one hand and his long beard in the other.

Just to the left of the main building of Kokuzenji Temple is the god of commerce and prosperity, Daikokuten. Along with Ebisu, he is one of the cheeriest of the bunch.

The portly god of happiness and abundance, Hotei, stands at the entrance to Saikoji Temple. It’s up you whether you would prefer to start with happiness and finish your walk at Nigitsu Shrine with wealthy Ebisu or vice versa!


Futaba-yama Walk of History

Address: 2-37, Matsubara-cho, Minami-ku, Hiroshima-shi

Website: not available

Phone: +81-82-568-7704 (Japanese language only)

You can join the historical walking trail 10 mins walk from Hiroshima Station North Exit. Pick up an English map at the tourist information counter in Hiroshima Station.

Best season: New Year

The average length of time: around 2 hours

Fee: Free

Information about transport passes:

Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass




*Information is correct as of January 2019.



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