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Nagasaki Kunchi

Nagasaki Kunchi is one of big-three festival in Japan, held on October 7 to 9 at Suwa Shrine.

The festival features Chinese dance including Ja-odori (Snake dance), this time dancing all

around the city but especially at Suwa Shrine. History of the Festival, after Christianity was

harshly suppressed in Nagasaki in 1624, a festival was dedicated to Suwa Shrine, the guardian

god of local people. It is believed that Suwa Shrine festival called “Nagasaki Kunchi” and danced

were offered to shrine with cooperated of local people in 1634.



At the outset, dedicated dance were very simple but gradually became colorful. During Eiho Era

(1673-80), a Chinese dance with an exotic flavor offered to the shrine. The Ja-odori or snake dance

was first performed in the Nagasaki Kunchi during period 1789-1800. In 1970, the government

designated the whole of Nagasaki Kunchi dance including Ja-odori as an Important Intangible

Cultural Asset.



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Shinto shrine

There are over eighty thousand Shinto shrines in Japan, and they represent the oldest

architectural style in the country. Shinto is a religion unique to Japan. Respect for land

and nature is its basic premise. Usually there is a mirror in the case inside each Shrine.

This is the symbol of Shrine’s deity. Shinto customs are common in Japanese life. Some

people household altars and pray for good health, success and happiness every day.


The entrance to the Shrine is marked by a huge gate called a Torii. There are usually

made of wood or stone, some painted bright red.

A pair of stone statues called Komainu guard the entrance to Shrine and its building.

They are mythical creature. One’s mouth is usually open while the other’s is closed.



Featured Shrines in Kyushu


Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

The Shrine dedicated to the deity of learning. Many

Japanese visit the Shrine to pass the examination successfully. 

Built on the site of grave of Sugawara Michizane, who is deified

as the Deity of scholarship.


Munakata Shrine, Hetsu-gu

The Shrine has been registered on the World Heritage in 2016.

Hetsu-gu is one of the three shrines that comprise Munakata

Shrine and enshrines Ichikishimahime-no-Kami, one of the three

female deities of Munakata. 


Miyajidake Shrine

The Shimenawa is the biggest in JapanSurprisingly, weight is

3ton, with 2.6m diameter and 11m length. Shimenawa is the thick,

twisted, straw rope. It was believed in ancient days that a Shimenawa 

had the power to keep off evil sprits, so many objects connected with

Shinto Shrines decorated.



Ukiha Inari Shrine

Breath taking scenery harmonizes with the Shrine. Ukiha Inari

Shrine, located at foot of Mino mountain range, 130 m height from

sea level. The 90 vermilion coloured Torii Gates stand on

the 300 steps stairs is introduced you from bottom area to the Shrine

main building.


Yutoku Inari Shrine

One of the most famous Inari shrines in Japan and located in Kashima

city, Saga-prefecture. Dedicated to Inari, the deity whose messengers

are foxes, it is the third largest of its kind in Japan. It was constructed in

1688 as the family shrine of the Nabeshima clan who ruled what would

 become the Saga area during the Edo period. 


Sueyama Shrine

The Shrine is located in Arita Town, Nishimatsuura District. Feature of

the Shrine is Shrine gate made by porcelain, and usually the Shrine gate 

are made of stone or wood. The Shire gate or Torii was built in 1888. It had

been designated Tangible Cultural Properties on April 28, 2000.


Usa Shrine

The head shrine of Hachiman Shrine that is composed 44,000 shrines that

dedicated to the Hachiman Deity. Emperor Ojin, who was deified as

Hachiman-jin  (the tutelary god of warriors), is said to be enshrined in all the

sites dedicated to him; and the first and earliest of these was

at Usa in the early 8th century. The Shrine is was founded in 727.

Aso Shrine

Aso Shrine is popular as a god protecting worshipers from traffic accidents, 

and exorcism, marriage, and learning. Aso shrine one of the oldest and most

prominent shrines in Japan, and was built in 281 before accession of the 1st 

Emperor Jinmu.


Takachiho shrine   

Located just west of the town center, is nestled in a grove of tall cedars.

During the day the shrine’s nondescript, unpainted buildings blend in naturally

with the surrounding trees. In the evening, you can enjoy the Yokagura Dance.


Amano Iwato shrine 

Takachiho is a birth place of Japanese indigenous religion, Shinto. 

Takachiho is the site of one of the best known legends of Japanese mythology.

In the story, Amaterasu, the Shinto sun goddess, became so outraged by her 

brother’s cruel pranks that she hid herself in a cave, refusing to come out and 

depriving the world of her life-giving light.


Udo Shrine

Beautiful and exciting Shine,  located the cave of the cliff side facing the Pacific

Ocean. In legend, a goddess of sea built a hut to give birth to a great god here. 

Then it is said that Empress Suiko (554-628) built the shrine there.


Ryugu Shrine

It is the Urashima Taro legendary shrine peninsula and this shrine is becoming

popular as a power spot of matchmaking and good fortune in love.


Kirishima Shrine   

One of the most beautiful shrine in Kyushu, and is surrounded by forest

The Shrine buildings are constructed in 1715 and designated as Important

Cultural Property of Japan.



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Japanese religions

Why is Japanese religious orientation eclectic?

Japanese indigenous religion, Shinto, has no founder or written doctrine and places

a great emphasis on ancestor and nature worship.

Japanese with no strong religious beliefs consider religion as traditional customs handed

down from ancestors. This has developed great tolerance for other religions.

The other Japanese major religion, Buddhist, has the founder, but he was a human, not the absolute,

almighty god as that of Christianity or Islam.

This has also contributed to Japanese tolerance toward other religions.

Those are the reason why Japanese religious orientation is eclectic.


Onsen Resorts

In Japan, Onsen  are the country’s hot springs and the bathing facilities and traditional inns 

around them. Most Japanese love bathing in Onsen (hot springs), and many believe that the water

can cure certain ailments. There are many volcanoes around Japan, and therefore many Onsen.

Each Onsen is said to have its own healing property. Onsen resorts or hotels either use water from

actual spring or they boil mineral water. Onsen resorts have opened all over the country, and many

hotels have outside baths offering spectacular views. Public baths are also very common in Japan.

They generally have Jacuzzies, garden bathe, and saunas. At Onsen, people actually wash their

bodies before getting into the water. It is bad manners to use soap or towels in the bath itself.



Onsen Resorts in Kyushu

Kyushu is known for the best and most picturesque Onsen resorts in all of Japan.

The profusion of Onsen is due in part to Kyushu’s very landscape: it’s home to no less than

9 volcano groups that are responsible for creating the island’s thermal waters.

The featured Onsen Resorts 


Harazuru Onsen

A tranquil Onsen Resort near Fukuoka-city and is located on the banks

of Chikugo River. The quality hot spring is weakly alkaline and sulfur is

mixed and has the effect of dropping old horn and creating beautiful skin.


Takeo Onsen

Takeo has 1200 years history and is located in the western part of

Saga-prefecture. The hot spring temperature is 18 to 52 degrees.

Spring quality is smooth with alkaline simple hot spring.  It is said that

the color is colorless and transparent and has an outstanding effect

on recovery from fatigue.


Ureshino Onsen

Ureshino Onsen is a hot spring town in south-western Saga Prefecture.

Its clear Onsen waters are high in sodium bicarbonate and sodium

chloride and feel extremely smooth on skin, giving rise to its popularity

as a “Bihada no Yu” ( beautiful skin waters).



Unzen Onsen

Located in the centre of Shimabara peninsula, at the southwest part

of Mount Unzen with an altitude of 700m. It is started receiving foreign

tourists around the year 1900 when Kaempfer and Siebold introduced 

the city to Europe and China. The area was the first area to be

designated as a National Park in Japan in 1934

The area is also a part of Unzen, located at western foot of Mount Unzen
About 30 Hotels and Japanese style accommodation are standing along
the Tachibana bay and there are 3 public baths where visitor can use.  


Beppu Onsen

Beppu is one of the most famous Onsen Resort in Japan. The popular

Onsen town nestle at the foot of volcano, Mount Yufu and Mount Tsurumi.

Boasting more than 2,800 hot spring sources and flowing rate of nearly 

137,000 kiloliters per day, Beppu is considered a paradise of hot springs

famous for high therapeutic effects.

Yufuin Onsen

A beautiful and tranquil Onsen resort representing Kyushu. Yufuin is

located about 15 km west of Beppu and is spreading in the Yufu basin

at the mountain foot of Yufu. Onsen resort life can be enjoyed at the

beautiful and tranquil place harmonized with nature in the basin of

mountain hill area.


Aso Onsen

One of the must visit tourist destination in Kyushu. The world’s largest

caldera and the active volcano Mount Aso give a lot of excitements.

And numerous unforgettable experiences in the rural area can be made

including Onsen, variety of sports and local cuisines.


Kurokawa Onsen

One of the most popular hot spring resort, located on the northern side 

of  Mount Aso. Widely known for its open-air baths, it is one of the best

places to enjoy the atmosphere of old town in Japan, where more than 

20 Inns (Ryokan)and gift shops standing in a row along the Tanoharu

River, a head stream of the Chikugo River.


Ibusuki Onsen


It is best known for its steaming sand baths along the beach, where

bathers in a yukata, or Japanese bathrobe get buried in the sand up to their neck.  

The sand heated by steam containing marine minerals is scientifically proven to

have therapeutic effects on neuralgia, rheumatism, back pain and other ailments.


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