Yutoku Inari Shrine: Discovering One of the 3 Most Famous Inari Shrines in Japan

Yutoku Inari Shrine: Discovering One of the 3 Most Famous Inari Shrines in Japan


Visiting Yutoku Inari Shrine Kashima City, Saga Prefecture

Sarah Anderson once said “ Old places have a soul”, and I couldn’t have been more excited to share with you some of my discoveries earlier this year in Japan that has truly made a mark in the year of traveling.

During our recent fam trip to Fukuoka, Japan, we visited one of the most famous tourist spots in Saga, Japan – the Yutoku Inari Shrine located in Kashima City, which is an hour and a half away from Fukuoka.

Y?toku Inari Shrine Entrance
Yutoku Inari Shrine Entrance
Holy water well in front of the Yutoku Inari Shrine with color change of autumn leave in Saga prefecture
Holy water well in front of the Yutoku Inari Shrine with color change of autumn leaves in Saga prefecture

With over 30,000 Inari Shrines all over Japan, the Yutoku Inari Shrine is one of the major three shines dedicated to a deity named Inari, alongside Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto and Toyokawa Inari Shrine in Aichi Prefecture.

Garden near the Shrine Entrance
Garden near the Shrine Entrance

The History

It was built by the Nabeshima Clan in 1687, who were the rulers of Saga at the time. It was upon the request of Kazanin Manko-hime, wife of Lord Nabeshima Naotomo. There are over three million tourists that visit the shrine every year to pray for wealth, good fortune, large catch, safety travels, and other matters, as the deity Inari is said to send good fortune and happiness.

Yutoku Shrine during Autumn
Yutoku Shrine during Autumn

Interesting Things To See Inside

Built into the steep hillside of a valley, once you step at the main entrance, you’ll see the red wooden structure beautifully designed with ornates, surrounded by trees, and from there is the Gohonden; the main hall of the shrine. As you walk along, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported in a bygone era.

Main Balcony of the Shrine
Main Balcony of the Shrine
Prayer Hall of Yutoku Inari Shrine
Prayer Hall of Yutoku Inari Shrine
Prayer Hall
Prayer Hall

The main hall stands on tall wooden beams 18 meters above the valley floor, and from the main hall’s terrace, you can traverse a walking trail, passing through the red torii gate, which will lead you to a wooded hill behind the shrine. There are also sub-shrines, or “bunsha” located on the mountainside.

Furyumen Mask is an important cultural asset to Saga and are used in various harvest rituals
Furyumen Mask is an important cultural asset to Saga and is used in various harvest rituals

Make sure to wear your most comfortable shoes are there are lots of stairs and climbing to do. You can drop by at the Okunoin shrine hall and get nice views over Kashima City and the nearby Ariake Sea.

Yutoku Inari Shrine Main Hall
Yutoku Inari Shrine Main Hall

Another noteworthy part of the shrine is the Yutoku Museum displaying old armories, historical artifacts, old ceramics, ceremonial swords, and artworks about Kashima Domain.

YutokuInari Shrine
YutokuInari Shrine
View from the Main Hall Balcony
View from the Main Hall Balcony

If you’ll go stroll around, you’ll see the peaceful Japanese Garden, where according to locals, is better visited on the months of April to May, as the hillsides are covered in pink and purple. There are also lots of shops and souvenir stored lined up so you won’t have to go far for pasalubongs.

Schedule

The Yutoku Inari Shrine is open from 9 AM to 4:30 PM throughout the year.

Torii gate covered path leading up the hill from the main hall
Torii gate covered path leading up the hill from the main hall

Entrance Fee

300 Yen (Adult) 200 Yen (Student) 100 Yen (Child 7-15)

Where to Eat and Shop

Right next to the entrance, you will find Yutoku Monzen Shopping Street. There are more than 30 shops which include souvenir shops, restaurants, street food kiosks, cafes and so on.

How to Get There

From Manila, you can travel to Fukuoka directly from Manila via Cebu Pacific. Travel time usually takes 3.5 hours. Cebu Pacific offers daily flights to Fukuoka from NAIA Terminal 3. From Fukuoka, you can head to Nagasaki via train and bus.

Manila to Fukuoka Flight Schedule as of November 2019
Manila to Fukuoka Flight Schedule as of November 2019
From Fukuoka
  • You can the 1-hour express train trip from Hakata Station to Hizen Kashima Station (JR Nagasaki Main Line).
  • From there, you have the option to take the taxi trip with 10-minutes travel time, or a cheaper option of taking the bus from Hizen-Kashima Station which would also take you about 10-minutes travel time.
  • Alight at Yutoku Inari-jinja Stop and walk for about three minutes to get to the Yutoku Inari Shrine.
From Saga
  • About a 1-hour Yutoku bus trip from JR Saga Station to the Yutoku Inari Shrine
From Nagasaki
  • About a 1-hour express train trip from Nagasaki Station to Hizen Kashima Station (JR Nagasaki Main Line)
  • About a 10-minute taxi trip from Hizen Kashima Station to the Yutoku Inari Shrine
From Saga Airport (about 40 km)
  • About a 50-minute airport limousine taxi trip from Saga Airport to JR Hizen Kashima Station
  • About a 10-minute taxi trip from Hizen Kashima Station to the Yutoku Inari Shrine
From Nagasaki Airport (about 35 km)
  • About a 1-hour taxi trip from Nagasaki Airport to the Yutoku Inari Shrine
Red Tori Gates from Okunoin
Red Tori Gates from Okunoin

Yutoku Inari Shrine (Yutoku Inari-jinja)
Address: 1855 Otsu, Furueda, Kashima-shi, Saga-ken, Japan
Inquiry: Telephone +81-(0)954-62-2151

Disclosure: This Fukuoka, Saga and Nagasaki Familiarization trip was made possible by Cebu Pacific and Strategic Works, Inc

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