Kanmuridake Shrine – Mysterious Shrine deep in mountain with a legend of Xufu –



Kanmuridake Shrine is a spiritual and mystical shrine in deep mountain of Satsuma-sendai City.


Discover Mysterious Shrine in Deep Mountain!

After my wife and I worshiped NITTA Shrine in Satsuma-sendai City, we headed for Kanmuridake Shrine in Ichiki-kushikino City. We drove southward for about 1 hour from Nitta Shrine. Finally, we discovered a shrine gate after going through winding roads of Mt.Kanmuri (516m). There are almost no sign of people at the shrine.


Unlike other shrine in cities, Kanmuridake Shrine is covered with the spiritual air of deep mountain. Please watch the following video of the shrine.

When I walk in the shrine, I hear the sounds of natural stream. The air is very clean!

kanmuridake shrine stream relaxation

My hard work had exhausted me, but I could regain my mental strength thanks to this relaxing atmosphere. 

Komainu making difficult face

This is the building for prayer. Huge cedar trees surround the building.


Hmm? The two stone dogs on the gate look interesting. Let’s have a close look.


The statue resembles SHI-SA in Okinawa, According to the explanation board, the statue was made in Beijing, China. Following statue is of Nitta Shrine. Let’s compare!


Humm, those are the same Komainu, but their atmosphere is very different. By the way, why does Kanmuridake Shrine put CHINESE statue?

Strong Relation with China and Kanmuridake Shrine

What is the origin of “Kanmuridake”? When Qin dynasty ruled China in BC 3 century, the emperor was the First Emperor. He is famous of building Great Walls. I took the following picture when I studied in Beijing, China. (This Great Wall was not built in the era of Qin dynasty, though…) 

The First Emperor ordered his follower to search for Immortal Medicine. The follower is called “XUFU”. XUFU came to Japan to search for the medicine for the First Emperor. After he arrived at the coast of Kagoshima, he dedicated his crown to the mountain in hope for getting the medicine. The name of Kanmuridake (literally means “Crown Mountain”) is named after XUFU’s action at this mountain. There are many legends regarding XUFU in Japan and nobody knows whether he could find the medicine. The First Emperor died for disease, but XUFU didn’t return to China again. In Japan, some people believe that he died in sea before he could reach Japan, other people believe that XUFU arrived at Mt.Fuji and decided to live there forever.

There are Chinese parks and gardens near Kanmuridake Shrine. I think that those Chinese things represents the strong relationship between China and Kanmuridake Shrine.

History of Kanmuridake Shrine

In the middle of the 6th century, Emperor Yomei (31st Japanese emperor) ordered Mt.Umako Soga to build the shrine at Mt. Kanmuridake. Kagoshima’s feudal lord Shimadzu also respected and worshiped the shrine very carefully.

My wife and I pray for family’s prosperity and safe birth for our kid.。


I prayed several times for my wife’s safe birth of baby. The red flag has 4 Chinese characters which means “Safe Birth”.

kanmuridake shrine pray for safe birth kagoshima japan

When I make a prayer,  noticed the straw decorations of the shrine is very big. Please compare its size to my smartphone!

big straw decoration kanmuridake shrine

We found rice and Gane (Kagoshima traditional deep-fried tempura of sweet potato) at the shrine. Someone comes here in deep mountain and takes care of the shrine everyday.

offerings at kanmuridake shrine, satsumasendai, kagoshima, japan

Each Japanese shrine worships different God. How about Kanmuridake Shrine?

kanmuridake shrine gods

Kanmuridake Shrine worships KUSHIMIKENUNO-MIKOTO. I am Japanese, but it is very difficult pronunciate the name of the God.

It is said that the the name of the area is “KUSHIKINO” and the name is derived from the God.


Indeed, those pronunciations are similar! The God is of Battle and Gamble. We prayed for family’s prosperity and safe birth of our child this time, but I am going to pray to win lottery ticket when I come to the shrine next time.

Sacred Seal

Chief priest doesn’t stay at the shrine, so you cannot obtain the sacred seal of the shrine. We intended to receive the seal, but we didn’t know nobody was at the shrine. But we are very satisfied with the shrine, because we could enjoy its wonderful atmosphere and pray for my wife’s safe birth! 🙂

After making prayers at Kanmuridake Shrine, we enjoyed natural hot spring (Kanmuridake Spa).

See Article→Kanmuridake Shrine

Information of Kanmuridake Shrine


Get off Minamikyushu Highway at Kushikino I.C. and drive toward west about 10 minutes.


Mysterious Shrine deep in mountain