Terukuni Shrine – Symbolic Shrine of Kagoshima City –



Terukuni shrine worships 28th lord of Shimadzu Clan, Shimadzu Nariakira. In Kagoshima, the shrine is as popular as Kirishima Jingu Shrine at Kirishima City. Many people in Kagoshima put Kimono for new year festival of the shrine and puts Yukata for Rokugatsudo (June Lantern Festival) of the shrine.


Visit to Terukuni

Terukuni shrine is only a stone throw from Tenmonkan. My parents took me to this shrine in my childhood as shown in the following picture. I cannot believe that I was so cute at that time (3-year-old).


I took the video to show you how to get to Terukuni Shrine from tram station “Tenmonkan dori”. Blue dotted line indicates the course. It takes about 5 minutes by foot.

Please refer to the following video for actual scenery of the course.

Large white shrine gate of Terukuni Shrine appeared in front of me!

terukuni shrine

Carps are swimming freely in the moats near the shrine gate. 

Those carps are very colorful and beautiful.

Near the moats of swimming carps, I found a monument which commemorates a big eruption of Mt. Sakurajima in 1914. There are about 50 monuments in Kagoshima Prefecture.

sakurajima eruption monument

I went through the shrine gate and entered the garden of the shrine.

terukuni shrine

God of Terukuni Shrine

Terukuni shrine worships 28th Shimadzu lord, Shimadzu Nariakira (1809-1858). Shimadzu clan ruled Satsuma domain until the end of Edo period. Shimadzu Nariakira contributed the modernization and industrialization of Japan through Shuseikan Enterprises. In 2015, three historical sites of his enterprises were designated as the World Heritages (Shuseikan Reverberatory, Sekiyoshi Sluice, Terayama charcoal klin). Also, he invented beautiful Satsuma Kiriko glasses and designed the Japanese national flag.

Nariakira is also good at the management of human resource. He discovered talented people such as Saigo Takamori, Okubo Toshimichi and Komatsu Tatewaki who contributed greatly to the Meiji Restoration.

Invention of Japanese Flag

Many Japanese peoople don’t know that current Japanese flag (red circle in white background) is invented at the end of Edo period.

At that time, foreign ships appeared around Japan frequently and it became necessary to distinguish Japanese ship from foreign ones by flags.

At first, Tokugawa military government designed the following national flags (black horizontal line in white background). 


I think that the flag design is too simple to represent Japan. Nariakira is the person who designed the current Japanese national flag “Hinomaru”. The design illustrates scenery in which the God of Sun (Amaterasu) appears from the heavenly rock cave. Tokugawa Military Government was opposed to the design at first, but later accepted it as the official flag. I am so proud to be born in the same place which produced the person who invented the Japanese flag.

Following picture is Shohei Maru which was the first ship hoisting Hinomaru flag.

shohei maru

Statue of Nariakira

I found a stature of Nariakira at the garden of Terukuni shrine.

Shimazu Nariakira

I also took the video of statue!


Shrine Garden

Shrine garden. Left building is the museum of the shrine.

Terukuni Shrine

Unique shape of yew pine tree.

terukuni shrine

Ritual cleansing place of hand and mouth.

terukuni shrine

terukuni shrine

Main building of shrine. The building on the mountain is Shiroyama Kanko Hotel.

terukuni shrine

I happened to see priest and priestess coming out from the building. So lucky!

terukuni shrine

Good luck charms of Terukuni shrine.

terukuni shrine charms

The symbol of Shimadzu clan is curved on the offertory box.

terukuni shrine


Sacred Seal

I received a sacred seal of the Terukuni shrine. Chinese characters of the name of the shrine are beautiful.

terukuni shrine

Note: Sacred Seal is 300 yen.


Rokugatsudo (June Lantern Festival)

Rokugatsudo is celebrated at shrines of Kagoshima Prefecture on July (June or lunartic calendar). Terukuni shrine’s Rokugatsudo is the biggest and celebrated on 15th and 16th of July. Many beantiful lanters are decorated at the garden of the shrine.

Terukuni Shrine

Rokugatsudo festival is the summer tradition of Kagoshima.

Terukuni Shrine

Beautiful lanterns near the shrine gate.

terukuni shrine

terukuni shrine

Elementary school students made those lanterns. They are cute!

terukuni shrine

You can also enjoy fireworks.

terukuni shrine  

terukuni shrine

For your information, Yasaka shrine (Kagoshima City) is the first shrine which conducts Rokugatsudo Festival on 1st July.

Hatsuichi (Early Spring Market)

Hatsuichi has been held in February since 1983. About 40 stores appeares at the shrine garden. Famous products of Kagoshima prefectures are sold. It is very jolly and many local people and tourists come to the Hatsuichi.

Many Daruma dolls are sold.

Every Daruma doll has different good-luck effect. Red Daruma keeps away evil spirits. Yellow Daruma gives you economic prosperity. White Daruma make you pass exams. Maybe they are good souvenirs to your friends. 

Bontan (large orange) is the famous products of Akune City.

The size of Bontan is as big as that of human child. Please compare the size with the normal orange at the following picture.


My family puts the skin of Bontan into bath and enjoy its scents.


Access to Terukuni Shrine

Get off tram at Tenmonkandori and go throughh Tenmonkan Arcade Street (walk 5 minutes). Get off Kagoshima City View Bus at Saigo Statue and walk 5 minutes.

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