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Tamawakasu-Mikoto Shrine

Oki Island's main shrine

Tamawakasu-Mikoto Shrine is one of the most important shrines in Japan for many reasons: It is the main shrine of the Oki Islands. The thatched roofed building is Oki's oldest shrine buildings and has been constructed in a unique Oki architectural style, thus earning the designation as a National Important Cultural Property. Every year, on June 5th, the shrine holds the Gorei Furyu festival, in which eight horses bearing the eight gods gallop up to the shrine in a heart-stopping ritual. The steps leading up to the shrine are intentionally sloped to accommodate the horses. Up the steps towards your right is a 30 meter tall cedar believed to be more than 2000 years old and fondly called "Yaosugi." Part of it got destroyed in a storm and you can see the cross section of this cedar at the Oki Nature Museum. This tree has been designated a Natural National Treasure.

Getting there

About a 30 minute walk from Saigo Port Ferry Terminal.

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