18 power spots in the Shikoku and Chugoku regions
Why not get away from your day-to-day and visit a “power spot” where you can dissolve your stress and heal your fatigue? Power spots are places where you can feel refreshed and attain a sense of vitality just through visiting them. ANA carried out a project in collaboration with “Tastes of JAPAN by ANA,” which works to discover the most charming locations all over the country, and Trip Advisor, and based on Trip Advisor’s review pages, will introduce 18 power spots selected from 9 prefectures located within the Shikoku and Chugoku regions.
Tastes of Japan by ANA is a regional revitalization project by ANA with local regions to spread the word about Japanese treasures still unknown to Japan and beyond. Chugoku and Shikoku regions are featured from December 2018 to May 2019. Click here for details.
The Amagoi Waterfalls are tributary waterfalls that flow through the town of Kamiyama and in 1990 they were selected to be included as famous waterfalls in the “One Hundred Waterfalls of Japan.” They are located in mountains about 50-minutes from Tokushima city and can be reached through a 700 meter boardwalk connected to a nearby carpark.
The Amagoi Waterfalls flow down the two lines of the 45 meter tall Medaki waterfall and the 27 meter tall Odaki waterfall. They exude a beautiful harmony with the surrounding nature and the period of fresh greenery is particularly striking. It is said that in earlier times farmers who were experiencing drought would visit here to pray for rain and the numbers of visitors who visit here to feel a sense of its power show no signs of declining.
This is one of the major shrines in Tokushima Prefecture, and as a palace of Awa Province has been popularly referred to as “Owasahan” since ancient times.
The enshrined deities are the tutelary deities of Inbeuji, who cultivated Awa Province and consist of the two pillars of Oasahiko Okami, regarded as the protector of industry and agriculture, and Sarutahiko Okami, who acted as a guide, a protector during travels and warded off evil during the the tenson kōrin (the descent of Amaterasu’s grandson Ninigi from heaven ).
During New Year’s, over 250,000 worshipers visit the shrine and it seems that many pilgrims who make the Shikoku Pilgrimage stop by to pray for safety. A sacred camphor tree that is over 1,000 years old towers over the front of the main hall and many people pray here.
This is a huge rock found in the former quarry, “Kose no Choba,” which is located in the western end of Shodoshima Island. Despite looking like it could fall at any second, this mysterious rock maintains its position with an exquisite balance and it seems the locals don’t know if it ended up their naturally or through human hands.
As an object of worship for the Koseishizuchi Shrine, it is enshrined on a mountain peak. Although it takes 20 minutes to climb from the foot of the mountain to its summit, if you make the effort, the mysterious scenery of Kasaneiwa and the Seto Inland Sea awaits you.
From the parking lot you will find the staircase and an adventurous path. Children above elementary school age will really enjoy the journey. However, I think those who require a stroller or walking stick will find it hard to reach the summit. If you climb up to Kasaneiwa you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Seto Island Sea. If the weather is good it is an incredible experience.reviewed by curry_bu
Kotohiragu shrine, is often referred to by the name “Konpirasan” and since ancient times has attracted worshipers who want to pray to the god of the sea, for a good harvest, a big catch and protection in maritime travels.
In the Edo period making a pilgrimage to Kotohiragu was second only to visiting Ise Jingu Shrine as an ambition of ordinary people.
Kotohiragu is built halfway up Mt. Zozu and is famous for its long staircase, with 785 steps from the entrance to the shrine’s approach to the inner main shrine, and 1368 steps until the rear shrine. This long staircase is also considered a step up power spot.
This is a shrine located on Omishima Island, which is passed through by the “Setonai Shimanami Kaido” expressway, that runs off the coast of Imabari City and connects Honshu to Shikoku. In the past Omishima Island was a holy site called the “Island of the Gods” and Oyamazumi Jinja is also called Nihonsochinju (The tutelary deity for all Japanese people). As a place to pray to mountain gods, gods of war and gods of the seas, it attracted the devout veneration of numerous members of the imperial court, military commanders and so on, and numerous suits of armor are on display there, which can be seen in the treasure hall.
The camphor trees located within the shrine’s grounds have been designate as a national natural treasure and the sacred camphor tree in the center of the precinct is an ancient tree aged at approximately 2,600 years old.
Copper mining was carried out at the Besshi copper mine for approximately 300 years between the Edo and Showa periods. Currently it is being maintained as an experience theme park called “Minetopia Besshi” which makes use of the site’s industrial heritage. It is gaining popularity and has earned the strange name of the “Machu Picchu of the Orient.”
At the Tohei Zone, which sits at an altitude of 750 meters, you can see a preserved mining site. At the base Hadeba Zone, where the main building is located, you can walk through a sightseeing tunnel with a total length of 333 kilometers and taste the mood of exploration. Then in the attached Tenku no yu （open sky bath） you can soak in a natural hot spring and feel refreshed. This is a spot where you can feel the power of the mining relics.
Senryuji Temple is the inner sanctuary that enshrines the principal deities of Sankakuji, which is the 65th holy place of the Shikoku Pilgrimage and the final of the Iyo Province portion. It was established in the 6th year of the Kōnin era (815) and began when Kobo Daishi visited this region, known as “the mountain where dragons live,” and carved out the image of Fudomyo’o, Takizawadaigongen and himself, which are enshrined here as the principal deities.
A mysterious air hangs over the temple grounds and even now the “goma kito” ceremony inherited from Kobo Daishi are diligently carried out in the rock cave located within the precincts. Known as a temple for praying to ward off evil, bring good fortune, achieve a good harvest and drive off insects, expert pilgrims regularly visit this temple along with Sankakuji.
The main image of this temple was carved by Kobo Daishi himself. A waterfall flows beneath the stage structured main inner temple, which creates a unique atmosphere. To get to the main inner temple you take off your shoes and go up the stairs. Every part of the temple is mysterious. reviewed by 腹黒くにやん
This river is famouos for the color of its water, referred to as “niyodo blue.” Boasting to have the third longest length of any river in Shikoku, this eminent body of water has a total length of 124km and among its tributaries, the Yasuigawa is said to be particularly beautiful for its exceptionally clear water. Walking paths are maintained in the valley up stream where you can enjoy the seasonal scenery, such as the fresh green of early summer and the autumn leaves of late autumn.
The greatest attraction of the valley is the “flying dragon waterfall” located at the end of the walkway. As part of the Yasui Valley, which is close to the headwater, the uniquely abundant amount of water runs along the bare rock and pours down thunderously. If you get close to the waterfall basin and bathe in the spray, which contains plenty of negative ions, you are sure to be able to wash away your worries.
The first time I visited here I was so impressed that I was lost for words. The clear rivers, the plethora of waterfalls, the untouched woods and virgin forests are devoid of people and create the feeling of having gone back in time. If you choose the right season it will double your enjoyment. You can fully take in the blessings of nature at your own pace.reviewed by あろーは
This shrine is famous for having the longest natural stone approach in Japan. Located halfway up Tottori Prefecture’s famous Mount Daisen, just by walking up the path one is overwhelmed with the sacred atmosphere. At the end of the approximately 700-meter stone pavement you will find one of the largest main shrines in the country. The main hall is designated as an important cultural asset along with the hall of offerings and hall of worship.
2018 marks a milestone 1300 years since Daisen was founded and various festivities and events will be held throughout the year in the towns around Daisenji and Ogamiyama Jinja Okunomiya, which are central to the Daisen religion. This is currently the most popular and powerful spot to visit in the Sanin district.
Located in central Tottori prefecture, Misasacho is the location for a hot spring (onsen) town that is brimming with the largest number of high-concentration radium hot springs in the world. Misasa Jinja shrine has long been praised as the guardian god of “Misasa Onsen,” that has a history of 850 years since it was established.
Due to the shrines of three villages being amalgamated in the 10th year of the Taisho period (1921), there are a large number of deities enshrined here, including Onamuchinomikoto, Susanonomikoto, and so on A hot spring sprouts from the chozuya (place for ritual cleansing of hands and mouth with water when visiting shrines) and you can not only clean your hands but also drink the water. You can feel the power of the gods enter directly into your body and pray for health and longevity.
The Ryuzugataki waterfalls, which consists of the approximately 40m tall Odaki waterfall and approximately 30 meter tall Medaki waterfall is said to be the most famous waterfall in the Chugoku district and has been selected to be included in the One Hundred Waterfalls of Japan. The waterfall that flows down in a tremendous cascade is exquisite and truly takes the form of an ascending dragon. Taki Kannon is enshrined in the rocky caves to the rear of the larger waterfall, and this place is called the “Urami no Taki i” and looks out onto the waterfall basin.
The Medaki waterfall is a step waterfall, and the water falls from the rocks and flows down while creating steps. Towering over the entrance of the waterfall are numerous of over 400 year old that create a mystical tunnel.
Continuing on from the waterfall, the path has been beautifully maintained by the locals, which really warms your soul. The staircase to get to the larger waterfall is very steep making it hard to get to but it is worth the effort because it is an amazing waterfall. Going behind the waterfall is very enjoyable. If you enjoy waterfalls this place is even more impressive than Yaedaki waterfall. This is a little known sightseeing spot in Shimane Prefecture. However, the parking spot is not that spacious and apparently it can become full during busy periods.reviewed by koromi
Izumo Taisha is such an ancient shrine that its establishment is recorded in what is said to be the oldest history book in Japan, the “Kojiki.” It is adored as a shrine god that brings good fortune in relationships, money matters, work, matchmaking and so on and has recently been gaining popularity as a power spot.
The main hall where the god is enshrined was erected in 1744 and has been designated as a national treasure. It is a comparatively large-scale shrine with the main shrine building having a height of 24 meters, while the giant rope of the Kagura Den is approximately 13 meters.
The energy from the mountain that rises to the rear of Kibitsujinja rains down on the shrine. The shrine conveys the demon slaying myth, “The legend of Ura,” which is regarded as the model for the ancient story of “Momotaro” and is also famous for its “Narukamashinji” ritual, which says that you can read your good or bad fortune through the sound of a kettle hung over a fire.
The main shrine, which was built approximately 600 years ago, is the only structure in Japan built in the Kibitsu-zukuri architectural style and the main shrine and hall of worship have been designated as national treasures. The approximately 400 meter long corridor connecting the main shrine to the branch shrine is magnificent.
Rashomon, which is located in Niimi city, is a natural stone gate that stands as high as 40 meters. A portion of an ancient karst cave collapsed, and the remaining limestone created an arch shape. Although you can not pass under the arch, you can see it from a nearby observation deck.
The surrounding area is cool, even in summer and you are able to see precious moss plants, fireflies and so on that inhabit the cave, which really gives you a sense of the mystery of nature.
※As of August 2018, you are only able to use the #1 observation deck.
Only 10 minutes by ferry from Miyajimaguchi in mainland Hiroshima, Miyajima is included as one of the Three Views of Japan and is praised as the island of the gods. Itsukushima Shrine exemplifies of this fact and has been registered as World Heritage Site. This shrine on the sea is unparalleled in the world and despite being hit by disasters such as typhoons and high waves, the most important portion, the main shrine, has never been damaged and has been preserved till the present day. Even now, approximately 900 years since its construction, its elegant silhouette rises out of the surface of the sea.
Towering behind Itsukushima shrine is the 525 meter tall Mt. Misen. If you board the ropeway at the foot of the mountain you can reach the summit in about 15 minutes. From the summit’s observatory you can see a majestic view of the Seto Inland Sea that apparently received high praise from Prince Itō Hirobumi.
As its name suggests Sensuijima is “so beautiful that even mountain hermits (senjin) are intoxicated (sui) by it. It prospered as a harbor for waiting for the tide, it is an uninhabited island with a circumference of approximately 5 kilometers that floats off the coast of Tomonoura. It is 5 minutes by ferry from Tomonoura. This island, born from ancient volcanic activity, is geologically important and it appears like a rock tunnel upon which numerous strange rocks, shaped by the waves over many years, are dotted around the island. Decorated with beautiful landscapes, some theorize that it was the origin of the expression “sanshisuimei” (scenic beauty).
Along the coastline on the south side of the island, you can see the blue, red, yellow, white and black “five colored rocks” which stretch out for approximately 1 kilometer. The only example of this in Japan. The five colored rocks, which are created by magma rising up and projecting out of the ground, is a place where you can truly feel the energy of the earth.
Ryujin Bashi (dragon god bridge) has attained its name through the fact that a dragon is said to appear through a hole located nearby. Due to the fact that the middle of the bridge is considered to be the path of the gods, women walk on the left side and men on the right side. When crossing the bridge, it is customary to bow, step forward with your right foot first, and then stop your breath while you are in the midst of crossing.
This shrine was erected on a cliff that overseas the Sea of Japan after a local fish merchant received a revelation from a white fox that appeared by his bedside. Beginning from praying for maritime safety and a large catch, this shrine is said to be beneficial for numerous wishes such as for prosperous business, a good romantic match, being blessed with a child, warding off evil and bringing in good fortune, and so on. The sight of the 123 vermillion painted torii gates that spread out for over 100 meters alongside the ocean are particularly impressive.
The saisen box that has been set up at the top of an approximately 6 meter tall large torii gate, located near the parking lot, is said to be the most difficult saisen box to put your money in in Japan. If you successfully manage to throw money into the saisen box, it is said that your wish will come true.
I took a three-day car trip from Tokyo just to see this shrine, and I would do it again. Absolutely amazing–there is no where that compares in Kyoto or anywhere else. Loved the atmosphere, loved the view, loved everything about it.reviewed by Sarahuhuhu
Although it is named “forest,” it is actually one giant tree. It has been named as such due to the appearance of its branches that spread out from about 5 meters above ground and extend 58 meters east to west and 53 meters north to south. It is said to be over 1000 years old and is greatly revered as a treasure by the local people. If you approach the large snaking branches that split out from the center, along with the “flying branches” that intersect with branches that have buried into the earth and burst out again, you feel as if you have entered into a forest.
With 18 branches extending in all directions, the longest branch extends for 27 meters. The scale of the tree is such that you could not possible fit it all into one photograph without moving quite far away from it.
I was brought here by a local friend. It is probably about 15 minutes from Kawatana Onsen. Although it is just a single camphor tree, it is massive and really feels more like a forest. Beside it is a small shrine that enshrines the spirit of a beloved horse that belonged to Yoshitaka Ouchi, a war commander from the Sengoku period. This is a very relaxing place where you could spend hours just taking it in.reviewed by ktajiri
The Chugoku and Shikoku regions are littered with locations that have a deep connection with Japanese myths including Izumo Taisha, Konpira-san, which continues to attract the faithful, and the world heritage site of Itsukushima. From long ago it has been a region that has given power to the people that visit. Why not come by to attain some natural power and refresh your mind?