Mar 15, 2018
Built in 1616, Ogimori Inari-jinja Shrine has a history going back to 400 years ago. It is located at the foot of Mt. Sobo, a sacred mountain that has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. From the National Route, the shrine’s enormous vermilion “torii” gate seems to beckon to travelers. If you go up the long stone steps leading to the back area, you can see the shrine building with a sweeping view of the surrounding area.
There is a legend about where the shrine gets its name from. According to it, one night a local lord was visited in his sleep by the fox-messenger of the god Inari who told him to be careful during his visit to the castle the next day because something dangerous would happen. The lord was extra vigilant during his trip and indeed, on his way to the castle, he was attacked by some ruffians, but thanks to the fox’s warning he managed to escape unscathed. Grateful to the god of the Inari, he built a new shrine and named it “Ogi no Mori Inari-jinja”. After that, the lords and their retainers also visited the shrine to pray and the shrine came to be called “Koto (fox head) sama” and has long been loved by local people.
It is said the shrine helps in business endeavors, safety in travel, safety of the family, and academic achievement. During its New Year Festival and other important festivals tens of thousands of people visit there from all over Japan.
Ogimori Inari-jinja Shrine (one of Kyushu’s Big Three Inari Shrines)
* This is the information as of June, 2017
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