Kokuzo Shrine

Quaint shrine in Aso region

By Ekaterina Bespyatova    - 1 min read

Kokuzo Shrine is included in the Engishiki, a book written back in the Heian period over a thousand years ago. This makes it one of the oldest shrines in the Aso region. With its quiet atmosphere and peaceful surroundings, it stands in stark contrast to the vibrant and bustling Aso Shrine only 6 km away. Far fewer people venture to Kokuzo Shrine. At the time of my visit, I encountered only a couple of other travelers.

One of the points of interest here is the remains of the great sugi of Teno: a huge polished trunk of a famous old growth cryptomeria tree that died in 1991 during a typhoon. This national monument was said to be 2000 years old.

The ancient tree trunk is surely impressive; but I enjoyed just being there, walking under the canopy of trees that are very much alive. The shrine buildings themselves are simple and not particularly old, but you can feel the age of this place. It’s in the air.

Getting there

The shrine is located just off Route 213  in Teno. There are signs once you get close.

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Ekaterina Bespyatova

Ekaterina Bespyatova @ekaterina.bespyatova

My name is Ekaterina and I enjoy looking at the world through my camera’s viewfinder. I travel a lot and capture what I find beautiful – in nature, culture, people. Japan is a place I have a special connection with – I’ve spent 7 years living in Tokyo and I’ve travelled across the country extensively, often to remote and less known locations. I have a large collection of photos from years of my Japan travels that I hope to eventually put online. And that collection constantly grows, because I always go back – there’s so much yet to discover. ​Check out my travel blog Amenohi Travels to see more. ​*** ​Здравствуйте, меня зовут Екатерина, и я люблю смотреть на мир через объектив фотоаппарата. Я много путешествую и снимаю то, что мне кажется красивым - природу, людей, созданное людьми. ​С Японией у меня давняя и глубокая связь. Я прожила 7 лет в Токио, объездила всю страну из конца в конец и регулярно возвращаюсь за новыми впечатлениями. За годы путешествий по Японии у меня скопилась большая коллекция фотографий, которые я планирую постепенно сделать доступными онлайн. Своими впечатлениями от поездок я делюсь здесь - а также на страницах своего сайта Amenohi Travels.