The Miyazaki Shrine Forest - Part 2

The Gosho Inari Shrine

By Alex Scalzitti    - 3 min read

Everyone wants to succeed in business. So, If you are visiting the Miyazaki Shrine Forest, it is a very good idea to visit the Gosho Inari Shrine. This shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Shintoist God of business. The word “Gosho” means “five places” in Japanese. The reason is that there were five ancient shrines close to the Miyazaki Shrine which were dedicated to the God Inari. They were united in one new shrine which received the name “Gosho Inari”.

If you are an employee, for example, you might want to pray to keep your current job, pray for the extension of your contract, pray for good interpersonal relationships and safety at your work place, and so on. If you have your own business, you might want to pray for getting more clients and for safety of your business. Of course, if you are unemployed or want to start your own business, you might want to pray for the chance of starting something new and be successful.

The multiple gateways of the Inari Shrine represents “prosperity”: each gateway you leave behind represents a step towards to the success of your business.

Foxes are believed to be the messengers of Inari. When you visit this shrine, you may find offerings of sake, rice and Inari-zushi which is a sushi roll packaged with fried tofu. Fried tofu is believed to be the favorite food of Japanese foxes and normally Inari-zushi has the shape of the ear of a fox.

There is a very beautiful lake with carps surrounded by flowers such as hydrageas and Japanese wisterias which can be found in full bloom in the beginning of June. That is a very quiet part of the Miyazaki Shrine Forest where you can have a relaxing time surrounded by nature.

You can walk from the Gosho Inari Shrine to the other two shrines of the forest (the Miyazaki Shrine and the Gokoku Shrine) in less than 5 minutes. So, if you visit the Miyazaki Shrine Forest, you can make the “Sansha Mairi” which is the typical Shintoist pilgrimage consisting of visiting three shrines.

Make sure you clap your hands very loud before praying. This is the Shintoist way of waking up the God of a shrine to listen to your prayers. Personally, I visit the Inari Shrine as often as I can and I try to make sure Inari listen to my wishes.

Vocabulary

  1. 五所稲荷神社 (Gosho Inari Jinja) – Gosho Inari Shrine
  2. 稲荷大神 (Inari Ookami) – The Great God Inari
  3. 三社参り (Sansha Mairi) - Typical Shintoist pilgrimage to three different shrines.

Directions

1. From the Miyazaki Shrine gateway: just look for the multiple gateways of the Inari Shrine on your right-hand side.

2. From the Miyazaki Station: take the train to Sadowara, Nobeoka, Saeki or any other one going north on the Nippou Main Line and get off at the Miyazaki Jingu Station. It will take you about 5 minutes. From the exit of the station, you can see a huge gateway across from the Route 10. This gateway represents one of the entrances of the Miyazaki Shrine. Cross Route 10 and walk all the way to the shrine back entrance. Turn left and walk along the shrine walls. You will see the Miyazaki Shrine gateway and the multiple portals of the Inari Shrine. It will take you less than 15 minutes from the station.

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Alex Scalzitti

Alex Scalzitti @alex.scalzitti

The first time I visited Japan was in 1994 and at that time I visited Tokyo area and Miyazaki. That was a terrific experience because I could see the difference between large and crowded Japanese cities and small ones. Miyazaki Prefecture has now a population of a little more than 1,120,000 inhabitants which corresponds to about 3% of the population of Tokyo Metro. If you are looking for commercial districts to buy top generation electronic devices, if you want to enjoy maid cafés, if you want to go to Harajuku-like areas, I think Miyazaki is not the place for you. However, if you want to find out where the Japanese Gods and first Emperor were born, have a very close look at Japanese arts and culture, enjoy the local wonderful nature, try the local rich gastronomy and listen to a very kind Japanese language accent, then you will have a terrific experience here. Surprisingly, as an Italian-Brazilian, I don’t miss the pizza restaurants of São Paulo City that much because I could find extraordinary Italian restaurants here. The reason for good Italian food in Miyazaki is simple: very good chefs and locally produced tomatoes and cheese. Agricultural and dairy products of Miyazaki Prefecture are famous in all Japan. Miyazaki is one of the places in Japan where you can go hiking on the mountains in the morning, go to the beach and relax at a spa in the afternoon and try local specialties in the evening... and the time you will spend to move from one place to another by car is no more than 30 minutes. I have been living here since 2004. I have never lived in other Japanese cities, so what I know about Japan and the Japanese people has a very strong Miyazaki component such as the local accent of my Japanese. In addition to my work with Japan Tourist I do mathematical research, teach foreign languages (English, German and Brazilian Portuguese), work as a freelance translator and interpreter and offer other services related to language. My hobbies are naginata (and other martial arts), long distance walking, weight training, reading, foreign language learning. Here at Japan Tourist I will do my best to give you an insight of Miyazaki Prefecture that only a native can give. Especially for Miyazaki City, I will take you places that even natives don’t know. Nan macchotto? Hayo Miyazaki ni kinai! What are you waiting for? Come to Miyazaki!

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