A place so beautiful it has been called the Aegean Sea of Japan, Ushimado is located in the southeastern part of Okayama prefecture.
There’s a shrine here located at a spot associated with a 1700 year-old legend!
A true power spot, the path and thickly growing trees on the way create a very sacred ambience.
Passing through the shrine gate and climbing more stone steps, the front shrine awaits within the vast shrine grounds.
Ushimado Shrine’s roots go back to when the god of the land was worshipped.
It’s a famous shrine that attracts visitors from near and far who come to pray for the well being of their families, better luck, the cleansing of evil influences, traffic safety, and other reasons.
On top of that, this is a place associated with an ancient legend of a fabled princess and a monster called Ushi-oni. It is said that the legendary Empress Jingu came here disguised as a man after her husband, the emperor, died. The monster that appeared was an ogre called Chinrinki.
Legend has it that the ogre’s head formed the small islands of Ushimado, its neck became Kijima Island, its torso became Maejima Island, and its tail became Aojima Island.
All the islands can be seen from the observation deck in Kameyama park near the shrine.
The island seen in the foreground is what was once the ogre’s torso, Maejima Island. Beyond lies Kijima Island and Aojima Island.
It is said that ‘Ushimado’ itself is named after this particular legend!
If you walk towards the sea from Ushimado Shrine, then descend and go southwest a little, you can find Tenjin Shrine.
One of the eight picturesque sights in Ushimado, this is a spot that has been selected as one of Japan’s top 100 places to see the sunset.
It’s a very mysterious sunset…
The setting sun is really beautiful…
The power spot of Ushimado is rife with legends and a magical spot for viewing the setting sun – How about visiting this lovers’ holy ground with someone special?
Location: 2147 Ushimado, Ushimado-cho, Setouchi city, Okayama prefecture
Reference homepage: http://www.ushimado.info/spot/detail.php?id=14 (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Maki Ohashi
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