World Heritage in Japan 21
Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region
Okinoshima and Munakata (Culture, registered in 2017)
The three Munakata kami (deities) are said in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki
to be daughters of Amaterasu (sun-goddess) consumption of giant swords.
Okitsu-Miya on the island of Okinoshima is part of the Shinto shrine complex
of Munakata Taisha; no formal shrine buildings were constructed on the
island; instead rock piles or yorishiro provided the focus for veneration.
Over 80,000 artefacts were ritually deposited at the site from the fourth
to the tenth centuries. These have been designated a National Treasure.
The Munakata clan, powerful local rulers, controlled the route to the continent
and "presided over the rituals". The many tumuli in the area
are believed to be their burial ground.
The followings are the sites.
Okinoshima *No entry
Sacred island which has ruins for ancient ritual from 4th to 9th century.
The island itself has been regarded as deity and designated as special
historic site and primary forest is designated as national natural treasure.
Munakata Taisha Nakatsumiya
This is the place of worship on the mainland developed from the ancient
ritual ruins of Okinoshima.
Munakata Taisha Okitsumiya Worship Site
This is the place of worship on the mainland because normal people have
not been allowed to visit Okinoshima. It is designated as special historic
Munakata Taisha Hetsumiya
This is the place of worship on the mainland developed from the ancient ritual ruins of Okinoshima. It is designated as special historic site, and main hall and worship hall
are designated as important national cultural assets.
Shinbaru and Nuyama Tumulus Cluster *No entry
These Tumulus Cluster are related to Munakata Clan who had worked as high priest. These are designated as special historic sites.
How to access to Munakata Taisha from Tokyo (example)
Tokyo International (Haneda) Airport - (airplane) - Fukuoka Airport - (subway)
- Hakata - (JR) - Togo - (bus) - Munakata Taisha Mae, then 5minutes walk
Total time: about 4 hours
General information of Japan
World heritage in Japan
-Shirakami Mountain Range
-Shirakawa-go and Gokayama
-Hiroshima Peace Memorial
-Shrines and Temples in Nikko
-Kingdom of Ryukyu
-Kii Mountain Range
-Iwami Silver Mine
-Site of Industrial Revolution
-Architectural Work of Le Corbusier
-Okinoshima & Munakata
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