Yoshino Mikumari Shrine, Yoshino-cho

#3 of 15 in Historic Sites in Yoshino-cho
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Yoshino Mikumari Shrine (吉野水分神社, Yoshino Mikumari-jinja) is a Shinto shrine located on Mount Yoshino in Yoshino district, Nara, Japan. It is closely associated with Emperor Go-Daigo.

The Shrine is dedicated to mikumari, a female Shinto kami associated with water, fertility and safe birth. Yoshino Mikumari Shrine is one of four important mikumari shrines in the former province Yamato. The shrine also houses six kami that are more or less related to mikumari (Takami-musubi-no-kami, Sukuna-hiko-no-kami, Mikogami, Ama-tsu-hiko-hi-no-ninigi-no-mikoto], Tamayori-hime-no-mikoto, and Yorozu-hata-toyo-akitsushi-hime-no-mikoto). A wooden statue of the deity Tamayori hime is registered as a National Treasure of Japan.

The present-day buildings go back to 1605, when Toyotomi Hideyori rebuilt the shrine, as his father Toyotomi Hideyoshi once had prayed here for a son and successor. The main hall (honden), an Important Cultural Property,is an unusual structure 9 ken long and 2 ken wide. Built in the nagare-zukuri style, it has however an independent 1x1 ken unit in the kasuga-zukuri style at the center. The three resulting edifices all lie under the same bark roof, which has three dormer gables.
In 2004, it was designated as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.
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Yoshino Mikumari Shrine reviews

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  • Even by Japanese standards, this shrine is wonderfully atmospheric. I stopped by to rest on the long hike down from the summit, and sat alone, entranced, by the quiet charm. Worth a journey.  more »
  • Chanced upon this very traditional shrine while taking a stroll down the mountain from the top. Not crowded at all. Worth a visit.  more »
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  • I went in the summer. Just inside the gate and the silence in itself, was a mysterious space. It is a lovely shrine.
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