Usa (Jingu) Shrine hold a special place in my heart. It was the first shrine that I ever visited on my first trip to Japan many moons ago. Of course in those days I was wide eyed and bushy tailed and the many intricate details and cultural norms of the Shinto religion were obviously lost on me but nevertheless the shrines sheer size (one of the biggest in all of Japan) and brightly colored buildings are still etched in my brain even today.
Usa Jingu is one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan with a history that spans close to 1300 years. Its main deity is Hachiman, who is worshipped as a guardian of the country and the imperial family. Shrines dedicated to Hachiman are among the most numerous in Japan and Usa Jingu serves as their head shrine. As you can guess, this holds the Shrine as one of the most important in Japan and rightly so.
The size of the land that Usa Shrine sits on is absolutely massive. I don't know exactly how big it is but all I can say is that it quite a long trek from the carpark to the main shrine buildings. Not that you will complain, the walk is exciting and adventurous as well as being a real cultural and mature orientated experience. The walk is mostly flat so in reality no problems for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.
I know a lot of people might be saying, oh no not another shrine especially for those who are doing an all Japan cruise and visiting many cities during their itinerary. However, I can say for certain that this shrine will be like no other that you have visited or will intend to visit. I am sure you will see this in all the photos and videos posted below.
Please check out the Usa Shrine here on a map:
Please click on the photos below to enlarge:
|One of the many massive torii gates
|Well signposted in English
|Japanese flag is always present
|Sake and Shinto are intertwined
|Impressive ponds are front and center
Please check out the Usa Shrine here in more detail from the following videos: