Spiritual and beautiful in equal measure, the Usa-Jingu in Usa City, Oita prefecture is the nationally famous head shrine of the 40,000 or so Hachiman shrines dotted around Japan and a must-see for visitors and worshippers alike.
Usa-Jingu is said to have come into being when the Ichino-Goten was constructed in the year 725 by Emperor Ojin to enshrine Hachiman, the God of War. The Nino-Goten and Sanno-Goten periods saw the Goddess of Shintoism, Himeno and Empress Jingu respectively enshrined, both of whom were deeply rooted in Rokugomanzan culture and the mountain beliefs of the Shinto and Buddhism syncretism that has existed in Kunisaki Peninsula since time immemorial.
The expansive Usa-Jingu compound is said to be enveloped by abundant and pure air, thanks to the surrounding pristine forest, there since ancient times. Visitors heading toward the shrine will encounter kamibashi, a beautiful, red bridge that leads them to the compound and neighboring buildings of historical and cultural significance, such as kurehashi, the treasure hall and the noh stage.
There is also nowhere better than Usa-Jingu to enjoy the ethereal flowers that bloom each season. With 500 Yoshino cherry blossom trees in spring and lotus flowers in summer, visitors can expect nature in abundance on what is a humbling and spiritual experience.
April to September 5:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
October to March 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (excluding the New Year holiday period)
Address: 2859 Minamiusa, Usa City, Oita Prefecture
Airport: Oita Airport
60 minutes from Oita Airport.