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Kyushu Travel Guide

Munakata UNESCO World Heritage


Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region


The site has been registered on the World heritage in 2017, 
and consist of the following.



・Okinoshima, Okitsu-miya Munakata Taisha
・Okitsu-miya Yohaisyo in Oshima island
・Nakatsu-miya, Munakata Taisha in Oshima island
・Hetsu-miya, Munakata Taisha

・Shimbaru-Nuyama Mounded Tomb Group



The sacred island of Okinoshima, situated between the Japanese archipelago and the Korean
peninsula, has long attracted the devotion of the local population in the Munakata region, who
possessed advanced nautical skills. Large-scale rituals utilizing an enormous quantity of precious
votive offerings were conducted on the island to pray for safe ocean voyages from the 4th to the
9th centuries, a period of more than 500 years during which overseas exchange occurred frequently
in East Asia.  

Ritual sites bearing witness to the successive phases of ancient rituals that chronicle the formation

of indigenous beliefs in Japan have survived to the present almost intact, because the island of Okinoshima, as an object of worship, has been protected by established taboos strictly limiting access to the island.



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