Okitsu-miya Yohaisho, Munakata Taisha—An Accessible Spot Near Okinoshima

Because Okinoshima has long been an object of worship, public access to the island is strictly limited.
 The Okinoshima landscape has been preserved intact until now because local people have strictly observed various taboos.
 For example, even if one is allowed to land on the island, one is forbidden to speak a word about what one has seen or heard there; and one must never take anything from the island, not even a twig, blade of grass, or pebble.
 Before landing on the island, one must also perform a misogi ablution, which involves bathing naked in the sea to rid oneslf of all impurities.
Okitsu-miya Yohaisho, Munakata Taisha
Okitsu-miya Yohaisho, Munakata Taisha
Okitsu-miya Yohaisho, Munakata Taisha The Yohaisho shrine building commands a view of Okinoshima. Local people maintain the taboos and worship the island from afar at this site.
The Yohaisho shrine building commands a view of Okinoshima.

Since Okinoshima is closed to the public, Okitsu-miya Yohaisho (Worship Hall) was built on a coastal terrace on the north side of Oshima, which affords visitors an opportunity to worship the sacred island from afar.
 The building of Yohaisho serves as a worship hall from which visitors can pay homage to the island.
 The traditions of worshipping the island and observing the taboos have been passed down to the present day.
 A shrine has been established here since the early eighteenth century, as a description of the stone monument.
 On a clear day, visitors to Okitsu-miya Yohaisho can clearly see Okinoshima floating on the horizon.

Directions

JR Togo Station/Fukuma station

Bus 25 minutes

Konominato Hatoba stop

Konominato Harbor

Ferry 25 minutes

Oshima Harbor

Oshima Harbor

Bus 10 minutes(30 minutes on foot)

Okitsu-miya Yohaisho, Munakata Taisha

Oshima sightseeing bus (7 trips per day)
Map of Okitsu-miya Yohaisho
Map of Okitsu-miya Yohaisho

Historic Sites

  • Batei-iwa

    Forty-minute walk from Yohaisho

    Batei-iwa(lit."rock with horse hoofprints")
    According to legend, the hoofprints were imprinted on the rock when a horse carrying Tagorihime-no-Kami, one of the three Munakata goddesses, on its back jumped from the rock to Okinoshima.
  • Windmill Observation Tower Cannon Fort Site

    Twenty-minute walk from Yohaisho

    Windmill Observation Tower Cannon Fort Site
    From the site of a cannon fort used during World War II, visitors can view Okinoshima on a clear day. The path linking the fort site with Okitsu-miya Yohaisho was constructed by the Japanese Imperial Army.
  • Miura Cave

    Fifty-minute walk from Yohaisho

    Miura Cave
    This cave was the hiding place of Father Johan, who escaped from Nagasaki during the Edo period. It is also know as "Johan's cave".
  • Oshima Koryu-kan(Oshima Cultural Center)

    Oshima Koryu-kan(Oshima Cultural Center)
    This facility offers displays and explanations about the deep historical connection between Okinoshima and Oshima, particularly regarding Nakatsu-miya and Okitsu-miya Yohaisho as places of worship.
    Hours: 10:00 –16:00 daily
    Closed Tuesdays
    This facility will remain open on national holidays, but will be closed the following day.
    Phone: 0940-72-2797

Links and Contact Information

Munakata Taisha Shrine Office

2331 Tashima, Munakata, Fukuoka 811-3505

Tel+81 0940-62-1311

Fax+81 0940-62-1315

Munakata City Office for World Heritage

1-1-1 Togo, Munakata, Fukuoka 811-3492

Tel+81 0940-36-9456

Fax+81 0940-36-6912

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