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Usa Jingu Shrine in Usa City

Usa Jingu shrine should not be missed on a trip to Oita City. The head of 40,000 Hachiman shrines across Japan, Usa Jingu is a sprawling vermillion campus in the serene greenery of the Kunisaki Peninsula. Originally founded in 725 A.D., Usa Jingu was the first shrine dedicated to both Shinto and Buddhism. Now, the shrine draws in both worshippers and architecture loving visitors to Usa city.

  • Usa Jingu Shrine in Usa City

    Usa Jingu Shrine in Usa City

    Usa Jingu is dedicated to Hachiman, or the god of military power and archery. While on paper, Hachiman potentially sounds quite violent, he actually serves as the sole protector of Japan from both Buddhism and Shinto viewpoints. In the Shinto religion, Emperor Ojin, the 15th emperor of Japan, became the mortal representative of Hachiman. Even though there are many Hachiman-dedicated shrines across Japan, Usa Jingu remains the flagship and most popular destination.

    Usa Jingu Shrine in Usa City

    Usa Jingu Shrine in Usa City

    A colossus torii gate greets visitors upon entrance. The traditional red paint contrasts with the forests of Kunisaki, signifying the intensity of power Usa Jingu holds. The campus is spacious and wide, feeling almost like a beautifully designed park than religious grounds.

    Usa Jingu Shrine in Usa City

    Usa Jingu Shrine in Usa City

    The Treasure Hall contains the history of Usa Jingu. Here, preserved artifacts dating from even before the Meiji period document the initial stages of merging Buddhism and Shinto into one shrine-temple. The Treasure Hall costs 300 yen to enter and is closed on Tuesdays. Another popular landmark, the Kurehashi, is an intricately decorated bridge only opened on special occasions. The bridge was constructed approximately around the 12th-14th century, considerably later than the shrine but still far from these modern days.

    Usa Jingu Shrine in Usa City

    Usa Jingu Shrine in Usa City

    The three main Hondens, or the most esteemed buildings in the shrine, are highly revered as blueprint for Hachiman Zukuri architecture. Hachiman Zukuri architecture is when one building gives the impression of two halls connected with a pyramid-like gabled roof. This architectural style is now used in every Hachiman shrine. Some 40,000 shrines later and the pointy slanted roof is instantly recognizable as some of Japan’s best artwork.

    Usa Jingu Shrine in Usa City

    Usa Jingu Shrine in Usa City

    The Hachiman Zukuri style can also be found within the Main Hall, a designated national treasure. Visitors are not actually allowed inside of the hall but are invited to pray to Hachiman. In Usa Jingu style, it is advised to pray clapping four times rather than twice. It is said that during the day, Hachiman rests at the front of the shrine while at night he sleeps at the back. Usa Jingu is known for their gourd version of ema. Be sure to get a fortune and string up the gourd near the main hall for good luck.

    Usa Jingu Shrine in Usa City

    Usa Jingu Shrine in Usa City

    The shrine, including Kurehashi bridge, the treasure hall and a museum dedicated to Noh art, takes about one hour to explore. It is also possible to just visit the main hall, the most famous part of Usa Jingu, since admission is free. English information and assistance is offered at the Usa City Tourism Association’s information center right next to the shrine. Buses run every hour between Usa Station and Usa shrine. The shrine is open every day from 5:30 am to 9 pm and admission is free, however, don’t forget 5 yen coins for proper offerings to the gods.

    Usa-jingu Shrine
    Address
    Oita Pref. Usashi Minamiusa 2859
    Phone
    0978370001
    Kurehashi
    Address
    Oita Pref. Usashi Minamiusa 2859 Usa Jingunishi approach
    Phone
    Usa-jingu Shrine
    Address
    Oita Pref. Usashi Minamiusa 2859
    Phone
    0978370001
  • Usa Kankokyokai
    Address
    Oita Pref. Usashi Minamiusa 2180-3
    Phone
    0978370202
    Usa
    Address
    Oita Pref. Usashi Iwasaki
    Phone
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