We visited Udo Shrine to pray for safe birth of my wife. The shrine is famous for offering safe birth, machmaking, happy marriage and childcare. *Please forgive me to introduce Miyazaki Prefecture in Kagoshima blog! 🙂
Arrival on Udo Shrine
On the cold day of 10 January 2016, we came to Udo Shrine after 3 hours of drive from Kagoshima City.
Road to the shrine is very crowded and parking lots are full. It took us an half hour to park our car.
It was the middle of 3 day vacation. So, the atmosphere of the shrine was very jolly.
Because the shrine offers happy marriage and safe birth, most of visitors are young coupleas and families including pregnant mothers.
A bit cold but comfortable see breeze are coming from Ocean Pacific.
Udo Shrine’s God
Main gods whorshipped at Udo Shrine is Ugayafukiaezu, who is the father of Jinmu Emperor (first emperor in Japanese history).
Road to Shrine Building
On our way from parking lot to the main shrine building, we dropped by a shrine office. We decided to obtain the Goshuin (sacred seal) of Udo Shrine so that my wife would have a safe birth in 2 months. There were so many visitors on the day that an officer gave us a claim ticket and told us to receive the seal after visit to the main shrine building. (Sacred seal is 300 yen)
We took pictures of shrine gates and ocean pacific from the shrine office. The Udo Shrine is a rare and unique shrine in a sense that the shrine faces big ocean. Red and black building and blue ocean create beautiful contrasts.
You can see the monkey on the wall of the shrine building, if you look carefully. Monkey is the zodiac animal of year 2016. Surprisingly we happened to spy an monkey family on our way to Udo Shrine and we thought it must have been an good luck omen.
The shrine worships the god of safe birth, but the road to the main shrine building is long (about 200m).
Some parts of the road is very steep for pregnant like my wife.
We washed our hands at this cleansing area and cleaned our bodies at cleansing ropes before we headed for main shrine building.
We headed for the main shrine building together with many visitors in line.
We reached a big cave curved by ocean waves. The cave was very big and we were astonished by the power of nature which had created the cave.
Beautiful Cave Shrine
This is how visitors pray at the main shrine building. The cave creates mystical and solemn atmosphere.
Rabbit & Udo Shrine
Udo shrine has a close relationship with a rabbit. The God power of Udo shrine gets strongest at the “Rabbit Day” of each month. This “Rabbit Day” comes in 12 days.
It is said that the day is effective in healing disease, increase in good luck and promotion. We found a rabbit statue at the back side of the main shrine building!
Reitai-Sai (annual regular festival) is held 1st day of “Rabbit” month. In lunar calendar, February is called “Rabbit Year” according to Chinese zodiac.
Ochichi (Milk) Stone
There are two protrusions on the rocky surface like female breasts. Water is dropping from the protrusions.
The main God of the Udo shrine is named “Ugayafukiaezu”. When he was just born, his mother “Toyotama” princess puts her breasts on the rock so that Ugayafukiaezu could drink the milk whenever he wanted. The milk was condensed to candy and he loved to eat it.
What a surprising thing! The shop sells milk candy which the God loved eating.
It is said that a pregnant can produce abundant milk for her baby if she eats the candy. My wife bought one candy bag. I was curious about its taste and asked her to give one to me, but she refused saying that it was useless for a man to eat the candy. Probably she was right.
You can drink the milk water besides the stone. My wife drank it so that she could provide our baby with good milk.
I drank the milk water on the sly and found it very mild. 🙂
Throw Good Luck Stone
Visitors to the shrine were throwing something to the sea.
One of the most famous about the Udo shrine is to throw good luck stones.
After praying for God, if you throw a stone into the circle on the turtle rock. If you are successful in putting your stone in the circle, your dream will come true!
You can buy 5 stones for 100 yen.
Following picture shows you good luck balls. The Chinese character “Luck” is curved on stones.
Man must throw by left hand and woman must do it by right hand.
We tried the throwing good luck balls. Because I am right-handed, my wife was much better in throwing it than I did.
The unique shape of the turtle rock is believed to be the turtle which transported mother of the God between Udo Shrine and the castle in the ocean.
Sacred Seal of Udo Shrine
We received the sacred seal of Udo shrine after praying at the main shrine building
We are glad to receive a sacred power for safe birth of our baby.
RABBIT is on the cover of the sacred seal book.
Videos of Udo Shrine
The road to main shrine building (probably hard for pregnant women)
Shrine building in the cave is very mystical and solemn.
I threw good luck stones to the turtle rock.
My wife threw good luck stones to the turtle rock. She was very good at playing it!
We drank hot milk with ginger on our way back to the parking lot (100 yen for 1 cup).
The milk is said to make you keep away from disease and make your life longer.
Because it was a cold winter day, the milk was warm and really delicious. The milk has a flavor of ginger.
PS (April 2016)
Our daughter was born on 26 April 2016. Udo Shrine sent us the following good-luck charm which celebrate our daughter’s birth. 🙂
I am going to take my wife and daughter to the shrine to pay gratitude.
How to go Udo Shrine
Nearest Highway IC is Miyazaki IC. It takes 1.5 hour from the IC to Udo Shrine by car.
If you come to the shrine from Kagoshima City, it takes about 3 hours via Ebino Junction. (Highway fee is about 3,500 yen.)
Free parking lot is available, but crowded during new year!