Motonosumi Inari Shrine

JAPAN by Japan

Aug 23, 2018

~A Row Of Bright Red Torii Gates Leading To The Sea~

The row of bright red torii gates stretching over 100 m certainly leaves a lasting impression. This is further enhanced by the vivid contrast between the red of the gates, the blue of the sea and the surrounding greenery, making this spot extremely popular with visitors from both Japan and abroad.

◆Chosen as one of Japan’s 31 most beautiful places

Motonosumi Inari Shrine in Nagato City, Yamaguchi Prefecture was chosen as one of Japan’s 31 most beautiful places published by CNN in 2015. The story goes that the shrine was built in 1955 after a local fisherman had a dream in which a white fox appeared and said “I’m the one to thank for all the good luck you’ve had fishing so far, so deify me in a shrine here.” The offertory box at the top of the approximately 6 m high great torii gate is reputed to be the hardest to reach offertory box in all of Japan. Because of this, it’s said that if your coin does land inside, your wish is sure to come true.

◆Motonosumi Inari Shrine highlights

The first thing you’ll notice is the 123 bright red torii gates. Dedicated over a period of 10 years, this number was chosen because 123 is considered an auspicious number in Japan. Stretching over 100 m, like a long tunnel leading to the sea, walking along this auspicious path is an exhilarating experience. As the shrine stands at the top of a cliff, one cannot help but be moved by the glorious contrast between the blue of the sea, the red of the torii gates and the green of the plants. You might even be lucky enough to see the Dragon Palace Geyser phenomenon, in which waves crash against a hole in the cliff and spray water up to 30 m in the air. The hills and stairs can be quite steep, so make sure you watch your footing. The shrine isn’t located near any form of public transport, so you’ll need to take a taxi from the closest station or hire a car.

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