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Visit the Yūtoku Inari Shrine, One of the Largest Inari Shrines in Japan

Yutoku inari shrine, Saga, Japan.

Sponsored by Saga Prefectural Tourism Federation

At Kashima town in Saga prefecture, there is the shrine named Yūtoku Inari which is one of the most famous shrines in Japan  dedicated to Inari. I will introduce this famous shrine to you, it is definitely a must see place if you visit the Saga area.

Visiting the Yūtoku Inari Shrine

One of the Three Largest Shrines Dedicated to Inari in Japan

Yūtoku Inari is dedicated to Inari; you may have heard of the kami (the deities in the Shinto religion) represented by a fox. He is one of the principal deities in the Shinto religion, Inari is associated with rice, general prosperity and worldly success.

It is one of the three largest shrines dedicated to Inari. The other two are Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto and Toyokawa Inari in Aichi.

Founded in 1687 by the local lord’s wife, Yutoku Inari shrine has been built on a unique place on the steep hill of a valley.

Inari statue at Yutoku Inari Shrine,One of the Three Largest Shrines Dedicated to Inari in Japan.

Impressive Architecture for the Main Building

The entrance is majestic with its beautiful door painted in brilliant colors and bordered by a pond filled with carps. What is impressive when you enter is to discover that its main building is built on a hillside. It is located on large red wooden stilts which are 18 meters high. Visiting Yutoku Inari Shrine reminded of me the famous Kiyomizudera temple in Kyoto.

The torii gate of Yutoku inari shrine, One of the Three Largest Shrines Dedicated to Inari in Japan.

The colourful gate of Yutoku inari shrine, One of the Three Largest Shrines Dedicated to Inari in Japan.

Yutoku Inari Shrine, One of the Three Largest Shrines Dedicated to Inari in Japan.

Some special decoration for the festival at Yutoku inari shrine , One of the Three Largest Shrines Dedicated to Inari in Japan.

Some special decoration for summer festival, at Yutoku inari shrine One of the Three Largest Shrines Dedicated to Inari in Japan.
These red and white striped torii are temporary in preparation for the up coming summer festival on 1st August, 2017.

The main shrine (honden) of Yutoku inari shrine, Saga, Kyushu.

the shrine is built on a hillside, Yutoku inari shrine.

Getting Closer to the “Honden” Building of Yūtoku Inari Shrine

To get to the main building, you have to climb some steps. Before arriving at your destination, you can take a break to admire the beautiful view of the rooftops of the shrine and the neighbouring buildings!

To reach the main shrine of Yutoku inari shrine, you have to climb some steps!

Yutoku inari shrine, One of the Three Largest Shrines Dedicated to Inari in Japan.

The view from Yutoku inari shrine's honden, Saga, Kyushu.

An old inari statue found at Yutoku inari shrine, Saga, Kyushu.

The Main Building of Yūtoku Inari Shrine

Due to the heat of the summer, I had difficulty climbing all these steps to reach the Honden ( the main building ) but it was well worth it. The building is a bright red and the view from above is magnificent. If you are not confident to go up to the top, an elevator allows visitors to directly access it!

Yutoku inari shrine, One of the Three Largest Shrines Dedicated to Inari in Japan.

The colourful decoration where I found at Yutoku inari shrine, Saga, Kyushu.

The Vivid Red Torii of This Shrine

From the terrace of the main building, you can continue the walk. It leads to a hillside further behind the shrine. During your walk, you will pass under some beautiful red torii.

The pass under the red torii, Yutoku inari shrine, Saga, Kyushu.

The pass under the red torii, Yutoku inari shrine, Saga, Kyushu.

 Climb a Little Higher Up to the Shrine

Along the path there are several beautiful little shrines decorating the borders of the pathway. Unfortunately, I did not manage to climb all the way up because it was super hot at the end of July. In addition, the path became steeper and I did not have the right shoes to continue, but you should know that at the top there is a small shrine and a breathtaking view of Kashima and the Ariake sea waiting for you  !

The trail to the top, Yutoku inari shrine, Saga, Kyushu.

The pass under the red torii, Yutoku inari shrine, Saga, Kyushu.

Many events take place at the Yūtoku Inari shrine throughout the year, some feature dances, others feature traditional shows. The official website of the Yutoku Inari has more information for your visit. Two of the most popular are the Hatsuuma Festival in the spring and the fall shooting ceremony. These festivals have been going on for hundreds of years. Whatever season you are visiting, Yutoku Inari deserves a visit !!!

What to Eat near Yutoku Inari Shrine ?

Before you go to the shrine, you might go through this main street. Do not hesitate to stop by if you are there during lunch time. The many restaurants on the street offer cheap dishes such as the famous Donburi, a rice bowls covered with meat, fish or chicken.

The main street to Yutoku inari shrine, there are many restaurants!

 

How to Get to Yūtoku Inari ?

  • By train, to get to Yutoku Inari Shrine, take a train to Hizenkashima station. Limited express trains from Saga or Hakata Station (Fukuoka) will stop here or you can take the local train. In either ways, you can use a JR Rail Pass. When you get off the train, cross the street to the bus center and board the bus to the shrine. It stops just outside the field. As it is a popular destination, many signs tell you where to go to the bus.
  • By car, there is the parking lot for free nearby.

Need Help? Contact the Saga Travel Call Center

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Name Yutoku Inari Shrine
Category Shrine
Address 1855 Furueda, Kashima, Saga Prefecture, 849-1321, Japan
Access
1855 Furueda, Kashima, Saga Prefecture, 849-1321, Japan
Opening Hours No closing days
Price Range Free entry
Payment options

Original article by : Estelle

Translated by: Aika Ikeda