Ibusuki Shrine – Huge Camphor Trees and Unique Paper Fortune






Visit to Ibusuki Shrine

My wife and I made a visit to Ibusuki shrine at Ibusuki City, Kagoshima, Japan. (Ibusuki City is my hometown).


It takes about 1 hour from Kagoshima City to Ibusuki City. We enjoyed driving at east coast of Satsuma Peninsula.

Once we entered the Ibusuki Shrine, huge camphore trees astonished us! Their ages are about 1,000 years. It is quite rare that several huge camphor trees grows at one place. Those trees are designated as natural monuments of Kagoshima Prefecture. Please watch the following video of the shrine.


Video of Ibusuki Shrine

I took the video of Ibusuki Shrine. The atmosphere is solemn and 1000-year-old camphor trees are very big! Please watch and enjoy!



Gods of Ibusuki Shrine

Ibusuki Shrine’s main deity is Amaterasu (Sun Goddess). Hirakiki shrine is only 20 minutes from this Ibusuki Shrine, but worships the same God. We wondered if it is just a coincidence.

There are several small shrine buildings inside the Ibusuki Shrine. Later we found that each shrine worships differents kinds of Gods and the number of the shrine is over 10!


The small shrine of the above picture is located at the southeast of the Ibusuki Shrine. (It is near the place where we had paper fotures). When we saw the building at first, we don’t know what it was and just made a brief prayer. Later, it turned out to be the shrine to worship Hoori (grandfather of 1st Japanese emperor Jinmu).

Hoori’s wife is Princess Toyotama. There is a small shrine which worshipps Toyotama in Ibusuki Shrine. Toyotama is the model of Princess Otohime who appears in Japanese fairytale “Urashima Taro”. They are many legends of “Urashima Taro” in Kagoshima.

I visited the oldest Japanese well in Ibusuki City. The well is about 20 minutes from Ibusuki Shrine. Princess Toyotama is said to draw water from the well which is located at the gate of Sea Dragon’s



Wash Basinof Ibusuki Shrine

Clean water is coming out of the mouth of scary dragon statue.


According to the brochure of the shrine, Mt. Zusho Shozaemon donated the water basin to the Ibusuki Shrine. After we went back to our home, we found that he turned out to be Mt. Zusho Hirosato (1776-1849) who was a politician and drastically improved the financial situation of Satsuma domain (Satsuma is the old name of western part of Kagoshima until 1871). Satsuma could not play an important role in Meiji Restoration in 1868 without him!

Hirosato appears in Princess Atsuhime, a Japanese long-running historical drama.  



Brave Horse Statue

We found a horse statue in the garden of Ibusuki Shrine. Japanese shrine usually puts animal statues and the animal differs according to each shrine. For example, if the shrine worships Tenjin, or the God of Thunder, you will find cow statues in the garden (because Tenjin likes cows). But it is quite rare to put HORSE statue in the shrine garden…

指宿神社 馬 石像

Hirakiki Shrine also puts horse statues. Hirakiki Shrine is only 20 minutes from Ibusuki Shrine and it is said to be the 1-st rank shrine in Satsuma region. In 874, when the volcano Kaimondake erupted enormously, the God of the Hirakiki Shrine was temporarily transferred to Ibusuki Shrine. We found that atmosphere and appearance of both shrines are very similar. 



Unique Water Paper Fortune

We found an interesting thing in Ibusuki Shrine. I tried WATER paper fortune for the first time in my life.

You can try the fortune 1 time for 100 yen. At first, nothing was written on the fortune, but…


When you put the fortune on the water… Woh!


Fortunes appeares on the paper. We were very luck to draw DAIKICHI, or best luck!!! The column of birth says that we will have a safe birth of child and have to take good care of my wife’s of body after the birth.



Sacred Seal of Ibusuki Shrine

We had a sacred seal of Ibusuiki Shrine and took the memonual pictures in front of the shrine’s building.


I strongly hope for the safe birth of our baby!


Place and Access to Ibusuki Shrine

・Get off at JR Nigatsuden Station of Ibusuki-Makurazaki Line. 15 minutes by foot.

  • Drive 1 hour from Kagoshima City. There is free parking lots.
  • TEL: 0993-22-4052