Okinoshima Island 沖ノ島
Photo copyright: Preservation and Utilization Council of "Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region"
A sacred island shrouded in mystery and ritual
A solitary monk lives on Okinoshima, an island and UNESCO World Heritage site some 60 kilometers off the coast of Fukuoka Prefecture . Visitors are strictly forbidden here.
Okinoshima is just under one square kilometer in size, but its place in Japanese history far outstrips its physical dimensions.
The island's lone inhabitant is one of about two dozen Shinto priests who spend 10-day intervals here, praying and guarding against intruders
How to Get There
The island is not connected by any form of public transport.
World Heritage history
Okinoshima is home to one of the three Munakata Taisha shrines associated with Munakata City , and is generally off-limits to the public.
Munakata Taisha Shrine
The island's only inhabitant is a monk employed by Munakata Taisha Shrine to maintain Okitsu-gu Shrine, located in the southwest part of the island. The shrine was established in the mid-17th century and has been in much the same condition since it was last rebuilt in 1932.
The island gained status as a UNESCO World Heritage site on July 9, 2017 along with two other Munakata Shrines associated with Munakata City .
Around 80,000 artifacts brought as gifts from overseas have been found on the island, some dating to the first millennia have been found on the island, which was a popular trading stop on the route between South Korea and Fukuoka Prefecture .
The artifacts include gold rings from the Korean Peninsula. Since their discovery, these artifacts have been declared national treasures and are now housed at Hetsu-miya Shrine.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.