Kushida Shrine in Hakata, Fukuoka

Kushida-jinja (櫛田神社) is a Shinto shrine located in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka. It is dedicated to the gods of Ohatanushi-no-mikoto, Amaterasu-omikami and Susanowo-no-mikoto. According to tradition, it was founded in 757. The present shrine was rebuilt by the famous daimyo Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 1587. It is the guardian shrine of Hakata.

The shrine is associated with Hakata Gion Yamakasa, a 770-year-old festival which is held from the 1st until the 15th of July every year. The festival was designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan in 1979. It is best known for the kakiyama floats that weigh around one ton and are carried around the city as an act of float-racing. There are also another kind of floats, the kazari yamakasa (decorative floats) that are on display throughout Hakata during the festival period (you can see also at the Kushida-jinja.

Reisen Tsuru, the well with three cranes. According to the legend, drinking water here brings youth and long life
Kazari Yamakasa decorated floats from Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival

Chikara-ishi, commonly found within Shinto shrines, they were used to develop or demonstrate physical strength. They were lifted also by famous sumo wrestlers


Address: 1-41, Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Kushida Shrine is 8min. walk from Nakasu-kawabata or Gion subway stations and a few minutes from Hakata Machiya Folklore Museum and the Canal City.


Photos: Junko Nagata © Japanbyweb.com