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A coastal city and former trading hub with Asia famed for its World Heritage Munakata shrines

Munakata lies to the northeast of the city of Fukuoka and is home to three World Heritage Munakata shrines . The shrines are within the bounds of Munakata City, while the oldest is on the forbidden island of Okinoshima .

Quick Facts

Okitsumiya Shrine on Okinoshima is off-limits to the public

Munakata was once a major trading hub between Japan and the continent

The current Hetsumiya Shrine was the first shrine of Munakata Taisha, where Shinto rituals were performed together with the second and third shrine

How to Get There

From Fukuoka, take a local or rapid train along the JR Kagoshima Main Line from Fukuoka's Hakata Station to Togo Station.
If you're coming from Kitakyushu , take a local or rapid train along the JR Kagoshima Main Line from Kokura Station to Togo Station.

Historic national treasures and sites

Munakata's proximity to the continent, especially the Korean peninsula, made it a key point of exchange between Japan and the mainland. The Munakata area became a place of rituals where the Munakata clan prayed for safety during voyages, and for the peace of the nation.

The three Munakata Taisha shrines have registered World Heritage status. The oldest is on Okinoshima , where the ritual began, and are still performed by a single priest. The general public is not allowed to visit the island.

Nakatsumiya Shrine is located on the island of Oshima, just off the coast of Munakata, and the present shrine buildings date back to the 16th century.

Ferries depart to Oshima Port from the port of Konominato every one or two hours.

Hetsumiya Shrine is the largest and most easily visited of the three shrines. The current shrine buildings were rebuilt in 1578, but remains of sites where rituals were conducted around the Takamiya Festival site in the 7th or 8th centuries can be seen.

Within the shrine grounds is the Shinpokan Museum, which contains thousands of artifacts discovered on Okinoshima , many of which date back to the early periods of major trade between Japan and mainland Asia.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.


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