AreaMatsushima Bay

Shiogama-Jinja Shrine

鹽竈神社 | Shiogama Shrine

Grand shrine overlooking Matsushima Bay

Photo by Miyagi Prefecture

Photo by Miyagi Prefecture

Photo by Miyagi Prefecture

Photo by Roger Smith

  • Marija Temelkovski

    Writer

    Matsushima Bay

    Tags

    Last Update
    February 7, 2019

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  • In ancient times, it is said that the gods taught people how to harvest salt by boiling seawater in large kettles. In gratitude, around the year 800 they named the area Shiogama (literally “salt cauldron”) and dedicated Shiogama-Jinja Shrine to these deities. A salt-making ritual is still performed every July at neighboring Okama-Jinja Shrine. Today, Shiogama-Jinja Shrine is known as the protector of fisherman and safe childbirth.

    Shiogama-Jinja Shrine stands on a steep hill overlooking Matsushima Bay. Climb the 202 stone steps to reach the main entrance to the shrine (There is a second, less steep flight of stairs on the east side of the shrine.). Its impressive red buildings date from the early 1700s. Fourteen of them are designated National Important Cultural Properties. On the same site stands the stately Shiwahiko-Jinja Shrine, a high-ranking shrine dedicated to a guardian deity of agriculture.

    The shrine museum focuses on the samurai history of the region and its highlight are real swords donated by the Date family who once ruled the area.

    Shiogama-Jinja Shrine Shrine has many events throughout the year. In spring during the Hana Matsuri, the shrine grounds’ rich variety of sakura trees are in full bloom, including shidare-zakura (weeping cherry trees) from Kyoto, and the Shiogama-zakura with their ball-like double-petaled blossoms. Summer brings the Minato Matsuri (Port Festival), where portable omikoshi shrines are carried down from the shrine to waiting boats and then paraded across Matsushima Bay. In autumn, the shrine has special evening hours when the shrine is lit up at night and offers music and dance performances. Winter brings the Hote Matsuri, where white-clad men parade omikoshi through the city streets and then back up the steep stairs to the shrine in evening.

    “My favourite place is a pond on the east side of the shrine near the museum. There are many trees surrounding it and the grass is neatly kept. It is a calm and peaceful place. I would come here often after work to relax and take in the spectacular view of Matsushima Bay.”

    WEBSITEhttp://www.shiogamajinja.jp/

  • Matsushima Bay

    Tags

    Art & Culture Do & See History Matsushima Bay Samurai Temples & Shrines

Details

ADDRESS

1-1 Ichimoriyama, Shiogama, Miyagi-ken 985-8510

ACCESS BY PUBLIC TRANSIT

15-min. walk from Hon-Shiogama Station (Senseki Line)

ADMISSION

Free

CREDIT CARDS

Accepted

LANGUAGES

Limited English

HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE

Yes

HOURS

5:00–20:00

CLOSED DAYS

None

PHONE

022-367-1611

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