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Aoshima, Aoshima Shrine

Aoshima, Aoshima Shrine

Aoshima Island is located off the Aoshima coast, which elegantly curves toward the south of Miyazaki City. This spot is known to be associated with two mythological deities of ancient Japan: Umisachihiko (the god of the sea) and Yamasachihiko (the god of the land). At the center of the small island with a circumference of 1.5 km sits Aoshima Shrine, which is dedicated to Hoori-no-mikoto (Yamasachihiko), Toyotama-hime (wife of Yamasachihiko) and Shiotsuchi-no-kami (the couple's matchmaker). The shrine also draws media attention for the annual visit of the Yomiuri Giants, professional baseball team, at the start of its spring training camp to pray for victory in the coming pennant race.

The shrine hosts seasonal mythology-related events, including the summer Sea Crossing Festival (parishioners troop across the water from the mainland shore to the island carrying a float (portable shrine)) and the winter Hadaka Mairi (around 300 men and women participate in a bathing purification service on the beach near the shrine). In ancient times, the entire island was regarded as sacred ground, and as such, public access was prohibited for ages until 1737. Thanks to these extensive religious preservation activities, rich subtropical vegetation, including 5,000 wild Livistona palm trees, surrounds the shrine's premises even now.
The island is also known for its unique wavelike rock formations, called Oni-no-Sentakuita (Ogre’s Washboard). The rock formations and rich vegetation on the island are both designated as natural monuments.


Name Aoshima Shrine
Address Miyazaki-ken, Miyazaki-shi, Aoshima, 2 Chome−13−1
Inquiries TEL: 0985-26-6100
FAX FAX: 0985-26-6123
Web Sites http://www.kanko-miyazaki.jp/foreign/english/miyazaki/kanko/13110.html

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