More and more, as I fully cover most of the attractions of my hometown here in Nagasaki and Fukuoka Prefectures in the southern island of Kyushu, I continue to expand my range and areas of expertise. Luckily with my new area of residence being Fukuoka, many places of interest in the north east region of Kyushu and just across the Kanmon Strait into Yamaguchi Prefecture on the main island of Honshu, have become accessible to me. Over time, I will get to many of them and document exactly the areas that are worth visiting on our private tours.
One of these attractions is called Akama Shrine. Indeed a beautiful shrine in a fabulous location, facing the Kanmon Bridge and Strait as well as Fukuoka Prefecture from which I just came from. The shrine is striking in its colors with the bright red gates and certainly has a great feel and vibe about it even though its history is quite perverse.
Akama Shrine is dedicated to the child emperor Antoku who committed suicide by drowning after the defeat of the Heike at the final battle of the Genpei War (1180- 1185) at Dan-no-ura. It is also dedicated to Taira-no-Tokiko, the grandmother of Antoku who died before the war but helped lead the Heike.
In May of every year there is a festival held in memory of Antoku, in which women come to the shrine in beautiful kimonos to mourn the memory of the emperor who cut his life short at a young age. It`s a scene that looks straight out of a traditional Japanese picture book.
I visited the Shrine in late December just as the preparations for the New Years were coming into play. There was quite a bit of activity at the time but that didn`t stop me from getting some great pictures and generally really enjoying the experience of a place that has a rich and powerful history. I am sure I will return again soon and do some more investigation of the area.
Please click here to see the Akama Shrine on a map:
Please click on the photos below to enlarge:
|How to pray at a Shrine|
|A place to make a New Years wish|
Also please click on the videos below to see more about the Akama Shrine: