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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

History

Kirishima-jingu Shrine 霧島神宮

## A beautifully ornate temple known as the Nikko of the West

One of Japan's oldest Shinto shrines, Kirishima Shrine is called the Nikko of the West for its stunning vermillion facade and detailed, colorful reliefs, which contrast with the surrounding greenery.

Quick Facts

The surrounding mountains are where the god Ninigi no Mikoto is said to have descended from heaven to rule the earth

The current shrine has been rebuilt several times after being destroyed by volcanic activity

How to Get There

The shrine is accessible by train, bus, or car.

Kirishima Shrine is in walking distance of Kirishima Jingu Station and a short drive from Kirishima Onsen.

Trains run regularly from Kagoshima City (45 minutes). Buses run from Kagoshima Airport with a brief change at Maruo.

Driving a rental car is recommended to get the most out of the Kirishima area.

Descended from heaven

According to Japanese mythology, Ninigi no Mikoto, grandson of the sun goddess Amaterasu, descended to earth at the peak of nearby Mt. Takachiho and married a local princess, thus becoming a mortal. This ancient shrine was constructed around the sixth century in his honor. The shrine was originally located at the foot of the sacred Mt. Takachiho, but after being repeatedly burned down by volcanic eruptions, it was moved to its current location. The shrine, which was rebuilt in 1715, is an Important Cultural Property of Japan.

Ancient roots, spiritual energy

An 800-year-old cedar tree next to the main shrine building is testament to the roots of this spiritual spot, and you can almost feel the ancient energy in the air. Make sure to walk behind the ornately decorated main building to the lesser-visited shrines for a more personal encounter with the mountain god.

For the more adventurous traveler, a visit to the shrine's original location at Takechiho-gawara, which is also the start of the Kirishima hiking trail, is recommended. On the tenth of each month a Shinto ceremony is held by priests from Kirishima Shrine, and the desolate location is reminiscent of a scene from an Akira Kurosawa movie.

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