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.
About a 30 minute walk from Saigo Port Ferry Terminal.
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For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan.