Kumano Taisha Shrine
2451 Kumano, Yakumo-cho, Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture 690-2104
Tel: 0852-54-0087 Fax: 0852-54-0249
Homepage: http://www.kumanotaisha.or.jp/
Since ancient times, Kumano Taisha Shrine has been known as Izumo-no-kuni Ichi-no-miya, which translates as the highest-ranking shrine in the Izumo region. It is located in a mountainous area approximately 15km south of central Matsue, from where it can be reached in 30 minutes by car. The vermillion Yakumo-bashi Bridge stretches over the clear waters of Iu River in front of the shrine, and there is a water basin where you can purify your body and mind before ascending the stone steps. The main hall in front of you in the middle of the grounds enshrines 'Kaburogi-kumano-no-okami-kushimikenu-no-mikoto', which is the honorific name for the God Susano-o-no-mikoto. On the right side is Inada Shrine which is dedicated to Princess Inada-hime, whom Susano-o-no-mikoto saved from the 8-headed dragon Yamato-no-orochi and married according to Japanese mythology. On the left is Izanami Shrine dedicated to the Goddess Izanami, who was the mother of Susano and Goddess of creation. Kou Shrine and Inari Shrine also stand in the grounds along with other structures, such as Zuijin-mon Gate, Sanka-den Hall, the spiritual dance hall Mai-den and a resting place 'Kansui-tei'. The Sanka-den Hall is a unique structure with a thatched roof. All four walls are covered in cypress bark and it is surrounded on all sides by a veranda made from bamboo. Inside are two old-fashioned fire-kindling tools called hikiriusu and hikirikine. It is an important building used in the annual Sanka-sai Fire Festival and the inauguration ceremony of the Chief Priest of Izumo Taisha. Up to the modern day, the God of Kumano Taisha Shrine has been bringing the creative and harmonizing forces of prosperity and happiness into peoples' lives.
Official Name
Izumo-no-kuni Ichi-no-miya Kumano Taisha
Susano-o-no-mikoto, who is honorifically referred to as Kaburogi-kumano-no-okami-kushimikenu-no-mikoto. He is worshipped and respected as a God that connects happiness and prosperity to living beings. He overcomes hardship and struggles to answer the prayers of the people and is the God of creative and harmonizing powers that assure prosperity and happiness. He is also known as the God of resurrection.
The shrine was established in the time of the Gods, and appears in the Empress Saimei chronicle of the Nihon Shoki (720 AD). The chronicle states that the Gods ordered that a shrine be built, and it was the highest-ranking shrine in the Land of Izumo at that time.
The God of the shrine protects peoples' happiness and fulfills wishes, and is also the God of industrial promotion, good fortune and of warding off evil.
saki mitama kushi mitama mamori tamai sakihai tamae.
Yakumo-bashi Bridge
Inari Shrine
Izanami Shrine
Sanka-den Hall
Kumano Taisha Shrine dates back to ancient times and was first recorded in the Nihon Shoki (720 AD) in the Empress Saimei chronicle (659 AD). In the ancient chronicles Izumo no kuni fudoki (733 AD) it is written that the shrine was located on Mt. Kumano (present day Mt. Tengu). The shrine appears as Kumano Nimasu Shrine in the Engishiki Jinmyo-cho Notebook (927 AD) and was also called Hinomoto-hidezome Shrine. Since ancient times, along with Izumo Taisha Shrine it has been revered as a grand shrine of the Land of Izumo. It was also deeply revered by the ancient imperial court, and rose from 3rd rank in 851 AD to 2nd rank in 867 AD. In the middle ages the shrine was transferred from Mt. Kumano to the foot of the mountain. The shrine was divided into the upper shrine and lower shrine, and until the end of the Edo period the upper shrine was known as Kumano Sansha Gongen and the lower shrine was called Isemiya. It was worshipped at by ordinary people as a shrine for industrial promotion, good fortune and warding off evil. It was designated as a middle ranked shrine in 1871, and then as a top rank Grand National Shrine in 1916. However, its title was reduced from Taisha, meaning grand shrine, to Jinja (a normal shrine) in the shrine system reform of the Meiji Period. It was finally reinstated as a Taisha in 1978. In the sengu shrine rebuilding ceremony of the same year the buildings within the shrine grounds were reformed, and the Sukei-kai, an organization of local parishoners and believers across the country, was formed. Kumano Taisha Shrine has a deep connection with Izumo Taisha Shrine and Izumo Taisha's festival begins with receiving the holy fire (the spirit of Kumano Taisha's God) and the fire-kindling tools of Kumano Taisha. These implements are also used in the inauguration ceremony at Izumo Taisha and are presented every year at Kumano Taisha's Sankasai Fire Festival.
Main Rituals and Festivals
Hatsumode First Prayers of the New Year Jan 1st - 3rd
Setsubun Spring Festival, Feb 3rd, from 11:00 am
1st Day of Spring Risshun-risshi Festival, End of March
Migushi-sai Comb Offering Festival April 13th, from 10:00 am
Chojyu-sai Longevity Ritual, April 29th, from 11:00 am
Motomiya-sai (Climb to the original shrine), 4th Sunday in May, from 9:30 am
Summer Purification Oharae/Nagoshi Ritual, June 30th, from 4:00pm
Reitai-sai Grand Festival, October 14th, from 10:00 am
Sankasai Fire Festival, October 15th, from 10:00 am
Accommodation Facilities
Yu-ai Kumano-kan
Offerings/Lucky Charms
The shrine has offerings such as tamagushi branches and lucky charms which hold the spirit of the God of Kumano Taisha Shrine.
There are also other lucky items such as an en-musubi comb and en-musubi comb mobile phone strap which symbolize the comb that Susano-o-no-mikoto gave to Kushinada-hime (Princess Inada-hime) as an engagement gift.
Take the Ichibata Bus bound for Yakumo from Matsue Station to the last stop. (23 min.)
Change to the small Yakumo bus bound for Kumano and get off at Kumano Taisha-mae stop. (10 min.)
Come off the San-in Expressway at Higashi Izumo IC and head in the direction of Yakumo (Approx. 8km.)
Approx. 40 min. by taxi from Izumo Airport.
There is a large car park in front of the shrine with spaces for 100 cars and 20 buses.