Fukutoku Inari Shrine – A Superb View
Chosen as one of Japan’s 31 Most Beautiful Places, Yamaguchi Prefecture already has the popular Motonosumi Inari Shrine, but did you know that there is one more beautiful Inari Shrine in Yamaguchi?
Fukutoku Inari Shrine is conveniently located only a few minutes from Toyoura Kawatana Onsen. The name consists of two auspicious characters fuku (fortune) and toku (virtue). The shrine is also commonly referred to as “Inunaki-no-Oinarisan” (The Howling Inari) by locals.
Climb the steps to the main temple, and when you reach the top, turn around and behold: The amazing panoramic view of the azure skies and sea contrasting with the great vermillion Torii gate – A view nothing short of breathtaking. You can also see the beautiful island that world-famous pianist Alfredo Cortot fell in love with – Atsushima (also commonly known as Koruto).
Making Your Wishes Come True
Fukutoku Inari Shrine has one more special feature. Like Motonosumi Inari Shrine, it has Senbon-Torii (A Thousand Torii). Gates dedicated by worshippers and people who have achieved great success stand along the approach between the temple and the cape. Also called the “Torii of Good Luck”, they are said to bring good fortune to those who pass beneath all of them.
The gates are called Senbon-Torii, but are there actually 1000? I was wondering about this, so I asked around and found that there are actually more than 1000.
Along the way to the cape there are two Inari statues: Tanitake Inari and Tanimori Inari. With origins dating back more than 1000 years, they are the enshrined spirits of a brother and sister waiting at the cape for their father who went out to sea to fish and never returned.
An Endless Panorama
An unbelievably magnificent panorama awaits you at the cape at end of the approach. The enshrined spirit of the lost father of the two children, Tanikawa Inari, can be found here, as well as a resting area.
The cape overlooks the stunning sea, which has swimming areas, and there are apparently lots of families here during summer. Maybe the fox deities watch over the kids running happily around on the beach playing?
Fukutoku Inari Shrine
Address: 2960 Toyouracho Oaza Uka, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Ukanomitama-no-Okami (Tanikawa Inari) – Lower Shrine
Omiyanonome-no-Okami (Tanimori Inari) – Middle Shrine
Oichihime-no-Okami (Tanitake Inari) – Rear Shrine
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Akiko Isonaga
Akiko IsonagaI was born and raised in Hiroshima, but my mother's hometown is on Kojima island, Ehime prefecture. When I was little, I used to climb up on the roof of an orange warehouse and gaze at the picturesque islands of Seto. They were really beautiful. Now that I'm a bit older, I’m happy to be able to spend time working as a photo-writer and conveying the beauty and charm of the Seto Inland Sea. As well as writing at home, I live a short walk from the World Heritage site of Miyajima, I also work as a teacher and am currently studying color psychology.
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